A mother’s madness

2009-10-28 00:00

THE community of Mbutshane in Sweetwaters was yesterday reeling in shock at the news of the brutal murder of a five-year-old girl and her three-year-old brother, allegedly by their mother.

A woman has been arrested on charges related to the murders. It is believed she was attempting to quash a rape case against her common law husband who is accused of raping her daughter. She was allegedly distraught when he was arrested.

Nontobeko (5) and her brother Xolani (3) were stabbed and hacked to death; their throats had been slit.

It is believed the mother was trying to destroy evidence against her boyfriend who allegedly raped Nontobeko in September.

The family, who discovered the rape on Sunday, laid a charge with the police on Sunday evening. The man was arrested on Monday and appeared in court yesterday before magistrate Divesh Mootheram. His bail application was opposed and he was remanded in custody.

“I have always heard that a woman would trade her children for a man, but I just never believed it,” said one woman mournfully at the brutal murder scene

Thandekile, the mother of the accused, said her daughter did not live with her and the childrenr, but with her common law husband.

“She only came to live with us after he was arrested,” said Thandekile.

“She had hidden the fact that her daughter was raped and when we found out we laid a charge and her common law husband was arrested.”

Thandekile said her daughter kept talking about suicide and about killing her children.

“She kept saying, ‘Instead of living such a miserable life I would rather die, I would kill myself and the children’, but I did not pay any notice because I did not think she was serious.

“On Monday evening, she asked for the children and asked for a knife, but I did not take any notice of that because she fixed the electricity with a knife all the time,” continued Thandekile.

She said that late on Monday evening she called the woman for dinner, but she said they were already sleeping. “In the early hours of yesterday morning, she came running past me and I decided to check on the children because I had an uneasy feeling. The door was locked and I called all my daughters-in-law to open the door. When we did we discovered the children.”

Thandekile said she could not understand what drove her daughter to commit such a brutal act as she was a normal child with no previous mental problems.

The accused fled the scene and was captured a few kilometres away by the local councillor, Sibusiso Ntuli.

Ntuli said that the crime rate is spiralling out of control and that this is the second time that children in the area were victims of a brutal murder.

“The government must do what it can to fight crime; the levels are just too high.”

Police inspector Joey Jeevan confirmed the incident and said the suspect will mappear in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court shortly. She said the motive for the incident is unknown at this stage. Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident.

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