Mom accused of murdering daughter, aged six, to be assessed
The criminal capacity of the mother of six-year-old Alexia Nyamadzawo, who stands accused of her kidnapping and murder, is to be evaluated after her brief appearance in the Umhlali magistrate’s court north of Durban on Wednesday.
Fungai Nyamadzawo, 42, is also accused of defeating the ends of justice after she allegedly told police that her daughter had been snatched from the back seat of her car while she was driving in the area with her two children.
Fungai was taken in for questioning by police on June 1 and the next day her daughter's body was found dumped in a sugar cane field in the area, prompting the mother's arrest.
Prosecutor Sanesh Rambaran told the court on Wednesday that there had been new developments in respect of the accused's mental state.
“The state is in possession of a sworn statement in respect of her history of mental conditions.”
Rambaran said the state had been informed that four doctors had previously treated the accused for mental health conditions and that the accused's attorney, Rakesh Maharaj, would furnish the state with these reports by Thursday.
The state remains opposed to bail in the matter.
Magistrate Blanche van Eeden adjourned the matter to June 17 while the state determines the merits of sending her for mental observation.
Appearing in a brown dress and green doek, Nyamadzawo nodded as a translator explained court proceedings.
She will remain in the KwaDukuza police station holding cells until her next appearance. Her husband, Carlton, sat in the public gallery, listening intently during the course of the proceedings.
On Tuesday the family held a memorial service for the grade one Umhlali Preparatory pupil.
An extract from her obituary read: “Alexia was shy by nature and always wanted to please her Dad, Mom and Mexin (sibling).”
It detailed her short schooling experience, her love for swimming and her giving nature. It ended with a quote attributed to Alexia, “President” Nyamadzawo: “We all make mistakes, but we should learn to forgive.”
It is understood that Alexia will be buried in Zimbabwe.