Africa & WorldCourts & Law

Mom who killed her children gets four life sentences

A WOMAN who killed her four children, aged between 11 months and eight years old, has been sentenced to four life sentences in jail.

Witbank mother Zinhle Maditla (pictured) was on Friday sentenced to four life terms for feeding rat poison to her four children.

Handing down sentence, eNCA reports that Judge Sheila Mphahlele said, “Their mother was meant to nurture and protect them. . . She betrayed her own children.”

Maditla was standing trial in the Mpumalanga high court, where she apologised to her family and both the fathers of her late children this week.

The children – Minenhle, eight, Blessing, seven, Shaniqua, four, and Ethen, who was 11 months old – were killed on December 26. She confessed to a friend four days later.

According to Sowetan, Maditla said she had gone to meet the father of two of her children, who had promised to buy them food and Christmas clothes when she allegedly found him with another woman. She said an argument ensued.

“I left and while I was crying at the taxi rank, I saw people selling rat poison and I bought it.”

She pleaded guilty to the murders, telling the court that she mixed rat poison with food for the three and also smeared it on her breast before breast-feeding Ethen.

Speaking outside court after a previous appearance, Maditla’s uncle Kevin Balance told Sowetan she had written a letter to the family asking for forgiveness.

“She wrote that she misses her children and how she wishes that she can reverse what happened but painfully, she will live without her children [for the rest of] her life,” said Balance.


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