‘I lived for my kids, my life is over,’ murdered four’s mother tells court

Sbusiso Mpungose.
Sbusiso Mpungose.

The woman whose four children were killed by her husband on Thursday gave heart wrenching testimony in the Pietermaritzburg high court.

“I lived for my kids. My life is over … he took away my life,” said a tearful Xolisile Mpungose.

She was testifying in aggravation of Sbusiso Mpungose’s (44) sentencing. He has pleaded guilty to killing Kuhlekonke (four), Khwezi (six), Siphesihle (10) and his step-daughter Ayakha Jiyane (17) on September 3, in Wyebank, Pinetown.

He said he hired a taxi and fetched his biological children from their respective schools and took them home where he killed them. He then went to the eldest child’s school and they both boarded a taxi. He decided to jump off and took her to a secluded spot where he strangled her.

Xolisile is a teacher and is currently on incapacity leave.

“I see kids everyday. My colleagues and I were raising our children together. At the moment, I can’t face all of that,” she said.

To make things worse, she said she can’t attend therapy groups because too many people recognise her from finding out about the murders from the media. Her house in Pinetown is empty. “I can’t go back there. I’m staying with my mother.”

Describing the relationship with her husband, she said that three months after they started dating, she found out he was getting a divorce and that he had a son, who is now 18 years old and awaiting being sentenced. She did not elaborate on this.

The woman said that in 2010, her husband lost his job. Ever since then things have been difficult and he was “in and out of temporary jobs”. In 2016, he got a permanent job, but his salary was less than before and she had to take on most of the financial responsibilities.

According to the husband’s plea explanation, he killed the children because he believed his wife was being unfaithful to him with the father of her first child.

The woman rejected this as false.

She said her husband did not like that her eldest daughter was in contact with her father, with whom she had started communicating last year.

She said her husband became emotionally abusive. They were unhappy for a long time and she decided to divorce him. The arrangement was that she would stay in the house with the children and they would share custody.

The day he killed them was the day he was supposed to move out.

Under cross-examination she said her husband had always been a loving and “hands-on” father. There was no physical abuse.

His attorney said that the husband had not come to terms with the seriousness of what he has done. He is in disbelief.

Sentencing has been adjourned provisionally to October 30.

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