Mystery in fatal family poisoning

2013-12-03 00:00

BOTHAVILLE — A sexual relationship that a man had tried to start with his 16-year-old sister-in-law may have been the motivation behind a family killing that saw five people, including two small children, die painfully from poison.

Police yesterday found each plate of pap, the pot and the working area in the small home on the farm Sandvliet strewn with the fast-acting poison Aldicarb (the so-called Two-step).

A police officer said it looked as if someone had scattered black pepper over everything.

The fatal poisoning, which was survived by two children, took place in the pre-dawn hours.

Andries Makoko (30) woke a neighbouring farm worker early in the morning and told him everyone in his family was unconscious. Makoko then tried to walk back his house, but succumbed to the poison and died in front of the neighbour’s house. When the police arrived they found his wife, Emily (24), dead on the kitchen floor between plates of pap and pots.

Emily’s sister, Dimakatso (23), was dead on the floor next to the bed in the only bedroom. On the bed was the small body of Ithabeleng (1). The body of her older brother, Thepo (6), was found on a blanket in the living area.

Thabang (10) and baby Lebohang are being treated in the Nala hospital. The condition of both was reported as satisfactory.

Andries’s father, Michael, said his heart was broken by what had happened. “I work away from the house and had not seen them for two months. I do not have words.”

Oubooi Mogoje, mayor of of Nala, visited the scene yesterday, and had to dab his own tears.

“It is so sad if things like this happens in our community. There are other solututions. Talk to the police if there are problems in the home. Social workers are also there to help.”

He ensured that the two surviving children would go to caring families when they are discharged from hospital and said the municipality can also help with the funerals.

Police spokesperson Captain Stephen Thakeng said their information was that Andries and Emily had started fighting on Friday. This was after Emily’s younger sister had told her that Andries had made sexual advances to her.

The girl was sent to another family over the weekend and may thus have missed a gruesome death. The investigation will aim to determine who was responsible for the poisoning.

The small house was yesterday cordoned off and sealed as the town awaits the arrival of expert cleaners to remove the poison. The active ingredient can be absorbed through the skin.

A bottle of rat poison was also found in the house.

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