A young Mamelodi mother has been referred to Weskoppies Hospital for the second time following allegations that she had smothered her 20-month-old son to death and hid his body in a dustbin.
Reneilwe Matlhakane, who was 18 when she allegedly killed little Phenyo Matlhakane, is facing a charge of murder and another of obstruction of justice in the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria.
Judge Bert Bam ordered that Weskoppies Hospital outside Pretoria once again had to evaluate the mother to establish her mental state.
She was earlier assessed at the mental hospital by two psychologists, who compiled a report. The report has not yet been handed to the court, as the defence asked that she be re-evaluated – this time by a panel of experts which includes a psychiatrist.
Both the prosecution and the judge agreed that it would be in her interest to have a full evaluation before she pleaded to the charges against her.
According to the indictment, the accused and her son lived with her mother in Mamelodi at the time of the incident.
It is alleged by the State that on November 12, 2019, Matlhakane was supposed to take her son for a general examination at a nearby clinic. She left the house with the child but did not return.
According to the State, she took the child – under circumstances which are still unknown – to an abandoned shack at Extension 4 in Mamelodi. It is alleged that she smothered the little boy and “made sure he is dead”. She then allegedly placed his body in a dustbin.
Matlhakane apparently refused to answer calls from her mother, who wanted to know where they were when they did not return home. It is said that the accused later told her mother that Phenyo was well.
The body of the child was discovered six days later in the dustbin. According to the indictment, the body was so badly decomposed that it appeared to have been burnt, and the cause of death could not be determined during an autopsy. It is suspected that he was smothered to death.
The accused insisted that her son was alive and well, even after she was told that his body had been discovered in the dustbin.
It is said that she had evaded her family following the incident and was only arrested about two weeks later.
Matlhakane will be back in court on April 19, to streamline the procedures for her re-evaluation at Weskoppies.