Mr Avhashoni Matshili during his appearance in the Thohoyandou Magistrate’s Court. Photo: Elmon Tshikhudo.

'Killer'-brother has mental problems


The man accused of chopping off his brother's head with a spade and stabbing his sister and her 10-year-old daughter at Tshidimbini outside Thohoyandou is a mental-health patient. Avhashoni Matshili (38) appeared in the Thohoyandou Magistrate's Court on Wednesday, 15 May, where he was charged with murder and two counts of attempted murder.

During his appearance, police were on standby for any eventuality as he had earlier shown signs of violent behaviour. Before being brought to court, he was banging the court holding-cell door, but he was composed and seemed to be listening attentively when in the dock.

During last Wednesday’s appearance, the court was told he was a mental-health patient and that he started taking medication three years ago after the passing of his mother. The case was postponed to 27 June for arrangements to be made for his mental observation.

Matshili's arrest and subsequent appearance in court stem from a bizarre incident where he allegedly chopped off his brother’s head by using a spade. He placed the head on a rock for all to see. He also stabbed his 32-year-old sister, Ms Mulweli Matshili, and her 10-year-old daughter when she went into their room to investigate the commotion. The sister and her daughter were both hospitalised at Donald Fraser Hospital, following the incident.

After the shocking and brutal incident, Matshili, who is said to have claimed the siblings were bewitching him, sat there as if nothing had happened. He waited for the police, who arrived and arrested him. The incident shocked and traumatised the local community.

Tshidimbini community leader Vho Khotsimunene Avhakholwi Tshivhase expressed his shock upon hearing about the incident. “These boys grew up before our eyes, and we never had any problems with them. They were inseparable and were always together. Even this Sunday, they went to church together. They did not have friends, and we are still trying to figure out what happened to them that could have led to this. We know there are challenges in the family, but we never saw this coming. We will just wait for justice to take its course,” he said after visiting the family and the injured in hospital.



Date:24 May 2024

By: Elmon Tshikhudo

Elmon Tshikhudo started off as a photographer. He developed an interest in writing and started submitting articles to local as well as national publications. He became part of the Limpopo Mirror family in 2005 and was a permanent part of the news team until 2019. He currently writes on a freelance basis, covering human rights issues, court news and entertainment.

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