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'Ritual killing accused normal'

victim: The murder case of Snethemba Dlamini, the teenage girl who was allegedly killed by her relatives, has been adjourned to October 26 Photo: Sandile Motha
victim: The murder case of Snethemba Dlamini, the teenage girl who was allegedly killed by her relatives, has been adjourned to October 26 Photo: Sandile Motha

A Psychiatrist Ntestifying in the murder trial of four women accused of cutting a teenager's genitals told the Durban High Court that one accused - the only one to have undergone mental observation - was in her normal senses when she committed the attack.

Judge Phillip Nkosi was yesterday expected to hand down his judgment but instead deferred the judgment and requested that Professor Dan Mkhize explain to the court how he arrived at the conclusion that Fundiswa Faku, 33, was thinking clearly when she allegedly committed the murder.

"The court had anticipated pronouncing the judgment today, however the court is not ready. After the perusal of all the evidence before me, my assessor and I reached a conclusion to invite an expert who examined the mental state of accused one in terms of her state of mind before and after the incident," said Nkosi.

Mkhize said she had consulted with Faku in three different sessions and she had told him everything that unfolded on that fateful day.

"I posed certain questions to the accused. Judging by the responses I received, I reached a conclusion that her behaviour was not the characteristic of a mentally disturbed person," Mkhize told the court.

He testified that Faku had told him how sorry she was that she had killed a child. "She told me that it [is] only now that she realises that she was possessed by the evil spirit and that what she did was wrong," testified Mkhize.

Asked by Nkosi what conclusion he drew from the accused's responses, Mkhize told the court that the accused's behaviour had features of Satanism and exorcism.

He stuck to his guns that the accused's mental capability was not affected because she had vivid recollection of what took place.

Faku, her sister Lindelwa Jalubane, 38, Jalubane's two daughters Nokubonga Jalubane, 22, and Minenhle Jalubane, 19, are in the dock for killing their 14-year old relative, Snethemba Dlamini.

The four are alleged to have believed that the teenager was demon-possessed and needed cleansing. They then organised a "demon cleansing" ceremony.

In the early hours of the morning of September 18 2012, Dlamini was ordered to lie down by Faku while others held her down.

Faku allegedly cut her genitals and removed her intestines and put them on a plate. The ritual was allegedly to remove "evil code" and cleanse Dlamini of her evil deeds.

Nkosi adjourned the matter to October 26 when a forensic psychologist is expected to give further clarity.

newsdesk@sowetan.co.za

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