Mental observation for alleged Bryanston killer

Johannesburg - The man accused of fatally stabbing his wife in Bryanston, Johannesburg, will undergo mental observation, the Randburg Magistrate's Court heard on Friday.

Prosecutor Yusuf Baba requested that the court refer Yengesen Pillay for a 30-day mental observation following a referral from a Pietermaritzburg hospital.

Pillay was discharged from the KwaZulu-Natal hospital on Thursday where he was being treated after an alleged suicide attempt.

After being on the run since the weekend, Pillay was arrested and hospitalised under police guard on Tuesday.

He was initially scheduled to appear in court next week but his case was moved to Friday following his hospital discharge.

On Friday, he walked into the dock wearing a black T-shirt, black jeans, and a black jacket, carrying a bag with him.

"I'd like to request for Legal Aid," he told the court.

Pillay was alleged to have repeatedly stabbed his wife Elmarie on Saturday.

The wounded woman was found by a passer-by.

On Sunday, ER24 spokesman Werner Vermaak said the woman, believed to be in her late 30s, had sustained around 50 stab wounds.

"It is understood that another woman and her child were driving along Peter Place when the child noticed [the woman] lying near a boom gate at an office park," Vermaak said.

"Paramedics found the injured woman barely responsive and breathing. Paramedics indicated that she [the victim] lost a vast amount of blood and counted approximately 50 stab wounds on her body."

Vermaak said the woman was rushed to hospital for further care, but she had died.

Pillay faced a schedule six murder charge for the incident. If found guilty, he could face life imprisonment.

Following a request from Baba, the court agreed for him to be placed in the medical section of the Johannesburg prison where he would be monitored.

The case was postponed to August 28 when the court would finalise arrangements for him to undergo mental observation to determine his ability to stand trial.