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Murder accused Hlabangwane set for mental evaluation after second suicide attempt in jail

Flavio Hlabangwane, the man accused of murder after body parts were found in his fridge, attempted to take his life again before appearing in court on Monday.

The news about his attempt at killing himself came out during his second appearance in the Protea magistrate’s court on Monday. Hlabangwane’s lawyer, Gift Mcube, told the court that he would be submitting an application for the 26-year-old actuarialist on his next appearance to undergo mental evaluation.

“We request that he be placed under observation (in custody) as he attempted to commit suicide this morning,” said Mcube. “Special care is needed and should be provided for him where he will be kept in custody.”

This is the second time Hlabangwane attempted to take his life. On the day of his arrest on November 13, Hlabangwane was captured on a video using a sharp object to slash his neck. He was subsequently taken to hospital where he was treated and discharged the following day.

During court proceedings, Hlabangwane’s hands had been bound while he looked confused. His family – mother, three sisters and cousin – were also present during the proceedings.

The court heard that his application to be represented by the Legal Aid Board was declined as he failed the means test.

National Prosecuting Authority Gauteng spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane said Hlabangwane did not qualify to be represented by a state lawyer as his income exceeded the limit used to gauge whether an accused has the means to afford a private attorney.

Magistrate David Mhango postponed the matter to November 30 when Hlabangwane’s lawyer is expected to submit an application for a mental observation test.

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