A Zimbabwean woman, charged with the murder of her 6-year-old daughter Alexis Nyamadzawo near Durban, has a history of mental illness.
This was revealed in Umhlali Magistrate’s Court where the 42-year-old, Fungayi Nyamadzawo, appeared for the second time.
Her bail application was abandoned after prosecutor Sanesh Rambaran told Magistrate Blanche van Eeden that the State had obtained new information about Nzyamadzawo’s mental status and a history of mental illness.
He said the defence had some doctors’ reports “which might be relevant” and the State intended to subpoena the reports from the medical professionals.
This was to ascertain whether or not she should be sent for mental observation to establish her fitness to stand trial and her mental capacity at the time of the commission of the offence.
If that were the case, he said, the office of the provincial Director of Public Prosecutions would “expedite the matter” for her referral.
Nyamadzawo will be detained in police cells in KwaDukuza until her next appearance on 17 June.
Speaking to journalists after the brief hearing, defence attorney Rakesh Maharaj said his client was very emotional and that it had been challenging to get instructions from her.
He said he had sight of two medical expert reports, compiled prior to “the incident”.
Alexia’s father, Charlton, who is an accountant, attended the court hearing.
Sources said relatives wanted the little girl to be buried there and arrangements were being made for this.
A local memorial service was held this week. A written obituary states that Alexia would have turned seven next month.
“She was shy by nature and always wanted to please her mom, dad and 14-year-old sister.
“She had a love for swimming and showed promise for gymnastics. Filled with life, she sought opportunities to give assistance and [do] the best for others.
“In true fashion in December, she gave her father R100 and some clothes that no longer fitted her. Daddy gave it to those who don’t have anything in Zimbabwe.
The obituary read:
May 31, 2020 is a dark day for all of us. Our special young angel left us for a better place.
It ended: “We all make mistakes. But we should learn to forgive.”
Alexia’s body was discovered last week in a remote sugar cane field on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast, two days after her mother claimed that she had been “snatched” from the back seat of her car, while she drove slowly over a speed bump.
Nyamadzawo faces charges of murder, kidnapping and defeating the ends of justice.