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Man blames ‘voices in his head’ for decapitating and chopping his mom up

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A family member told the court how she found the head and intestines on the bed, while some of the other body parts were in a bucket next to the bed.

John Mathe in court. Picture: Zelda Venter

A MAMELODI East man blamed “the voices in his head” for stabbing his elderly mother to death, chopping-up her body and decapitating her head.

Prior to killing her, he told his mother about the voices, but she advised him to pray to the Lord until it went away, John Mathe, 40, of Mandela Village, said in a statement before the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria.

Although he admitted that he had killed his mother during the Easter weekend last year, Mathe pleaded not guilty to murder on Tuesday, as he claimed he did not have the intention to murder her.

Mathe was earlier sent for psychiatric evaluation to Weskoppies Hospital, but a panel of psychiatrists could not detect a mental defect. 

His cousin, Jane Hlako, who discovered the chopped-up body of Makanana Mathe, 72,  a day after the killing, testified how she “found the head and intestines” on the bed, while some of the other body parts were in a bucket next to the bed.

Mathe said he remembered nothing, apart from going to her bedroom and stabbing her in the neck with a small knife. He said he only made the grisly discovery of the mutilated body the next morning when he woke up.

Mathe said in his statement he was in fact surprised when he woke-up and the house was still closed, as his mother usually got up early to open the windows and doors and to sweep the yard. 

“I called out to her and there was no answer….As I was at the door of my mother’s bedroom I saw blood under the door. I noticed that my clothes had blood on them…I opened the door to discover her decapitated and mutilated body on the bed. At that moment I recalled stabbing her the night before.” 

Hlako testified that she did not notice anything weird about Mathe when she saw him a day before the incident. She said when she could not get hold of her aunt on the phone she went to her house, where Mathe was busy making food. He said his mother went to visit a friend.

Hlako went to the friend’s house, but the old lady was not there. She returned to her aunt’s house, where she and friends kicked down the locked bedroom door.

She phoned the police after she made the grizzly discovery on the bed. Her aunt’s decapitated head and intestines were hidden under pillows.

Proceeding