Acting judge Louis Barnard was told by counsel for Siphefihle Ngubane that a previous report said the accused had suffered from a mental condition.
As a result of that he was referred to preliminary mental observation. That report was not yet before court.
Ngubane was referred to Fort Napier Hospital in Pietermarizburg for psychiatric examination.
Ngubane and co-accused Zamukuhla Maduna, 19, and a 17-year-old boy, have been convicted of murdering a Richmond family on March 1 this year.
The victims were Ekard Schutte, 76, his wife Elizabeth, 66, and son Lutz, 33.
Lutz was murdered after he returned from Germany to celebrate his father’s birthday.