Zinhle Maditla, the mother to four children who were found dead at their home in Klarinet, Emalahleni near Mpumalanga has been denied bail. The 25-year old appeared in the Witbank Magistrates Court on Monday facing four counts of premeditated murder.
She allegedly killed her children – eight-year-old Minenhle, seven-year-old Blessing, three-year-old Shaniqua, and 11-month-old Ethen – at her rented room in Klarinet, eMalahleni, in December.
The court found that it would be irresponsible to grant Maditla bail due to details of the case. A toxicology report pointed to rat poison as the cause of death of the four children. Maditla’s case has been transferred to the Middleburg High Court for her trial, which is set to resume in September 2019.
Her children’s decomposing bodies were found in December after she handed herself to the Vosman police station. She has remained in police custody pending a psychiatric evaluation into her fitness to stand trial. She has been deemed fit to stand trial.
Maditla has told the court that she had an argument with the father of two of her children after she had found him with another woman.
The father of the children, however, alleged that Maditla was depressed as she struggled to take care of the children on her own.
The Sowetan reports that William Shongwe, 29, said he and the woman broke up in September last year after a dispute over the lack of maintenance by the other fathers of the two children.
He said they used to fight over the issue, and the Maditla would threaten him with his children.
Police reportedly found the bodies of the children in a two-roomed house in Emalahleni.
The Citizen earlier reported that police spokesperson Brigadier Leonard Hlathi said police responded to the house where the decomposing bodies, with no visible wounds, were found.
He said the children were two girls, aged four and eight, and two boys, aged seven years and 11 months.
“The bodies were in the early stage of decomposition. Neighbours said they last saw the children at their home on December 26. The bodies had no visible wounds and the motive for the murder is not known at this stage.
(Compiled by Gopolang Moloko)