Killer mother ashamed of stabbing son

2011-03-30 22:25
Pretoria - A Tembisa mother who stabbed her five-year-old son to death then mutilated his body is overwhelmed by shame and wishes she was dead, the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria heard on Wednesday.

Educational psychologist Sunette van den Heever testified that Batseba Irene Lekgeu, 26, could not cope in the same way a normal person did and that this impaired her judgement when she murdered her son Andile in November 2008.

Lekgeu admitted taking her son to an abandoned house in Nebo where she repeatedly stabbed him before cutting off his ear and penis to make it look like a muti-murder.

She confessed to the police the same day because she could not live with what she had done.

She said she had blamed her son for all of her problems: her family had rejected her because her son's father was a known criminal, she had received no support and had battled financially.

Suicidal

Van den Heever testified that Lekgeu was exposed to severe abuse and deprivation as a child and as an adult.

She fell pregnant with her first child at the age of 14, had Andile when she was in Grade 12 and had a third child out of wedlock while supporting her family on her job as a till operator.

Her mother kicked her out of the house several times because Andile's father was a criminal, the father's family refused to help and her boyfriend rejected her because he was not willing to take care of Andile.

She had sought help from her grandmother on the day before the killing, but was told to persevere and cope with her problems.

All of these circumstances had caused her to feel increasingly depressed, lonely, helpless, frustrated and suicidal.

"It seems that she was a product of her circumstances and lacked confidence and assertiveness," Van Heerden said.

"... She is of the opinion that if problems were addressed sooner, that she would not have acted as she did. She acknowledges the hideousness of her crime and has intense remorse."

Van den Heever said Lekgeu had already been severely punished and found it hard to survive in prison as the inmates were aggressive and hostile towards one another and she missed her children and family.

The trial continues.

- SAPA
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