While a Durban father hanged his four children last week, a mother from Middelburg in Mpumalanga has also been found guilty of killing her four children after feeding them rat poison, last December.
Zinhle Maditla was found guilty on four counts of murder in the Middelburg High Court this week for killing her children Minenhle, 8; Blessing, 6; Shanique, 4; and Ettiene, 11 months. The bodies were wrapped in blankets in the house and were in the early stages of decomposition when they were found.
According to reports, the killing of the children took place in Klarinet, an area of eMalahleni where the woman’s family discovered the children’s partially decomposed bodies after she had called them to come through, saying she had left a Christmas present for them.
The woman who handed herself over to the police explained to the court, in a statement, that she had found the father of two of her children with another woman on the day of the murder.
“I went back home, I sat in the taxi emotional and crying I saw a hawker selling rat poison I took R10 and bought poison with the intention to kill myself and my children,” she explained.
When the women arrived at home, she prepared meals for her children by mixing the rat poison in atcha, before spreading some on their (children’s) sandwiches. She also rubbed rat poison on her breast before feeding her youngest child. The children who complained about headaches, died in bed soon after they stopped breathing.
She added that she also ate rat poison several times with the intention of killing herself, but it never worked. She went out partying with her friends when the decomposed bodies of her children were discovered.
The woman was arrested on December 30, after she handed herself over to the police. An update on this story will be posted soon.