Witbank deaths: 'You will be sorry' - wife's SMS to husband before bodies found

2017-07-12 11:11
The Mhlanga home in the Skiatos security complex in eMalahleni (Deaan Vivier, Netwerk24)

The Mhlanga home in the Skiatos security complex in eMalahleni (Deaan Vivier, Netwerk24)

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Johannesburg - A day after an eMalahleni (Witbank) woman warned her husband via SMS after a fight that he "will be sorry", she and their three children were found dead.

Police told Netwerk24 that Mandla Mhlanga, 40, received a text message from his 32-year-old wife Pearl over the weekend, in which she warned him that he will be sorry for not taking her calls.

The couple’s housekeeper found the bodies of Pearl and the three children in the main bedroom of their house in the Skiatos security complex in eMalahleni on Monday morning.

The suspected family murder has sent shock waves through the community and has left residents with many unanswered questions.

Police suspect that Pearl gave 7-month-old Quain, Quirino, 5, and Quanisha, 8, an overdose of pills before committing suicide.

Pearl was a student nurse in the eMalahleni private hospital.

Argument

According to police spokesperson Captain Eddie Hall, Mandla had stormed out of the house on Saturday after fighting with his wife. The children had spent part of the weekend with relatives.

Pearl apparently tried phoning her husband, but he didn’t answer his phone. That’s when she sent the SMS.

Warrant Officer David Ratau confirmed the SMS.

The house was still locked when the family’s housekeeper arrived on Monday morning. She phoned one of Pearl’s sisters, who contacted the police. Then she unlocked the house for them with her own key.

"They were all found in the main bedroom. The mother was lying on the floor and the children on the bed," Ratau said. Pills were found in the house.

Hall said Mandla wasn’t suspected of any crime.

He only arrived home on Monday morning after his in-laws contacted him to tell him there was a "problem" at his house.

Disbelief

Tokkie Combrink, the Mhlanga family’s neighbour, still can’t believe what happened.

"Just the other day Que-Que (Quirino’s nickname) was playing in the street and his ball landed in my yard. He asked me to give it back to him, because I have a dog. And now he’s dead. We can’t believe it," he said.

"I didn’t know them well, but we greeted each other and our children sometimes played together. How do I explain to my 7-year-old daughter that Que-Que is gone?

"One never knows what is going on in another person’s head," Combrink said.

Ratau said Mandla hadn’t officially identified the bodies yet, as he was too traumatised.

Mandla wasn’t available for comment.

Post mortems will be done to determine the exact cause of their deaths as well as how long they’d been dead before their bodies were found.

The investigation continues.

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