Axe murderer mom gets 10 years
Pietermaritzburg - A 25-year-old Pietermaritzburg woman who chopped her two children to death with an axe was sentenced to two ten-year prison terms in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court on Monday.
The two prison terms will run concurrently, Judge President Vuka Tshabalala ruled.
Monday's ruling brought an end to a four-month trial, which saw Zanele Mngadi pleading guilty to the murders of Nontshebo, her five-year-old daughter and Xolani, a son aged three.
She told the court she hacked and stabbed her little children in their beds to shield her lover from being charged with raping Nontshebo.
Mngadi also told the court that her boyfriend, who has since been arrested for Nontshebo's rape, was dangerous and was known for violence in the community.
She had ignored the advice of her brother and their family to leave him and report him to police as she feared the man would kill her once he got out of prison.
'The rope broke'
"I felt depressed and guilty that I was unable to protect my children. I did not see the point of living. In October last year I was so depressed I tried to commit suicide by taking dangerous substances and tried to hang myself but the rope broke.
"I chopped my children and tried to drown myself. I was then arrested," she told the court.
The children's bodies were discovered in their beds by their grandmother who had gone to get them ready for pre-school.
Mngadi was then arrested on October 26.
While state advocate Elsa Smith argued that Mngadi could have turned to her family for support instead of resorting to killing her children, Tshabalala said it seemed Mngadi felt she was in a hopeless situation, and could not think of other measures to take.
There was also no evidence that Mngadi had been a bad mother before the murders, said Tshabalala on Monday, adding that Mngadi had been unable to get a job to support her children.