Murdered daughter feared her dad

2012-03-13 21:12

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Pretoria - Thapelo Makhura had always feared that her father would carry out his threats to kill her, the wife of the former Umkhonto we Sizwe cadre told the North Gauteng High Court on Tuesday.

Miriam Makhura testified she had watched her husband, former home affairs law enforcement analyst Donald Makhura, 45, walk away from the scene where their daughter and her friend were shot.

On Monday, Makhura pleaded not guilty to murdering his daughter and her male friend Raiseba Martin Ndhlela, in front of his estranged wife's home in Mamelodi, on December 4 2009.

Mrs Makhura testified that she and her husband, whom she met in 1985 and married in 2002, split up in April 2009.

Abuse

Thapelo had moved out of the house several years earlier because her father had sexually abused her and assaulted her. He did not know where she lived, she told the court.

Mrs Makhura said she had obtained a protection order against her husband several months before the murders, because she had endured his emotional, psychological, sexual and physical abuse.

"He made threats. He threatened me with a firearm and threatened to kill me and that he would kill my family. He told me even if I run away, South Africa is a small place and he will hunt me down and kill me.

"He told me I will cut your veins and you will bleed to death. I will cut your eyeballs with a razor blade. I will kill your child because you rely on this child," she said.

She testified that he threatened her and their daughter on many occasions, and came to their house even after she had obtained a final protection order against him, although he had stayed outside the fence.

Mrs Makhura was at a neighbour's house, preparing for a wedding, and her daughter was sitting in a car with her friend in front of her house on the evening of December 4 2009 when she heard shots.

She screamed: ‘papa’

"Thapelo was not living with me at that stage. She would stay away for six months without visiting. She was always frightened she was going to be killed.

"I heard gunshots.... I went to the fence to see what was happening. I then saw the accused. Even though I never saw his firearm, I saw that he was the one who fired the shots.

"I saw the spark of a firearm coming out. I heard the deceased screaming 'papa'. More than seven shots were fired. I know the accused. We've lived together for a long time. I even know his movements.

"If he's angry, he walks with his chest pushed to the front. I saw him moving like that the day he killed the children. I saw him after he'd killed the children when he was leaving."

Mrs Makhura said she was afraid to go to the car because she knew her husband had killed the children, so she sent a neighbour to look.

To questions from Donald Makhura's lawyer, she said she immediately knew "the suspect" had killed her child when she heard the shots, even before she saw him.

"My child and I lived under death threats. He would come in the early hours and threaten to kill us. He once took a pillow and put it on my face. He told me he'll kill me and no one will hear the shots. He asked if I wanted to smell how a bullet smells."

She said her daughter had come home to attend the wedding the next day. She said she was with someone, but Mrs Makhura had never met her daughter's friend.

The trial continues on Wednesday.
- SAPA
Read more on:    domestic violence
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