Teen tried to kill uncles in their sleep, court hears

Johannesburg - A boy who allegedly tried to kill two of his uncles with an axe appeared in the Mkobola Magistrate's Court in Kwaggafontein on Monday, Mpumalanga police said.

The case was postponed to 25 September to find a bed for the 17-year-old at the Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital in Pretoria, where he would undergo mental observation, police spokesperson Selvy Mohlala said.

The teenager, who faces two charges of attempted murder, would be kept at a place of safety.

In the early hours of Sunday, 17 August the teenager went into the room where his uncles were sleeping and allegedly attacked them with an axe.

"He hacked and seriously wounded them on the heads."

The boy's father was awoken by the noise and went to investigate. He tried to calm his son down but he became more violent.

"The father then produced his licensed firearm and shot him in his leg to rescue the victims," said Mohlala.

The boy and the uncles were taken to hospital where they received treatment for their injuries. The boy was taken into police custody. The uncles were initially said to be in a critical condition, but later discharged from hospital.

"A case of attempted murder was also opened against the father, but the docket will be sent to the public prosecutor for a decision," Mohlala said at the time.

Several hours before the attack, the police were called to the family home as the boy had been hostile. The family said they suspected he was mentally unstable, Mohlala said.

"While the police were still at the house, the two uncles arrived as they were also called to come and assist," said Mohlala.

They told the police they would seek traditional assistance for him the next day.