Klarinet murders: Mother accused of poisoning four children denied bail

zinhle maditlaHer family has indicated their support for the mother accused of poisoning her children.

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On Monday, the Witbank Magistrate’s Court denied 25-year-old, Zinhle Maditla, bail, on the “interests of justice”.

As reported by the Citizen, the young mother of four is accused of murdering her children.

Klarinet murders: What happened to Maditla’s children?

Maditla handed herself over to police in Klarinet eMalahleni, Mpumalanga, on 30 December 2018, after neighbours were alerted to the smell of decomposing bodies in the two-room house she lived in.

Investigators made a gruesome discovery when they entered the house. The lifeless bodies of eight-year-old Minenhle, seven-year-old Blessing, three-year-old Shaniqua, and her 11-month-old brother, Ethen, were found in a state of decomposition.

A postmortem report revealed that the children had ingested some sort of rat poison, which ate its way into their digestive system, rendering a slow, painstaking death.

The Klarinet community noted that the children were last seen alive on 26 December 2018, four days prior to the gruesome discovery of their rotting corpses.

Why is the mother accused of the murders?

Maditla, a young woman described by her family as an introvert, pleaded not guilty to the multiple charges of premeditated murder.

However, her former partner, who may the State’s key witness in the trial — should it commence — believes otherwise.

29-year-old William Shongwe has been in an on-and-off relationship with Maditla since 2009.

He told the cited publication that when they met, Maditla was aged 15 and already two months pregnant with Minenhle.

They had their first child together, Blessing, only a year later but soon broke up. Maditla would go on to have her third child during this period. Somehow, between 2017 and 2018, the two found they back to each other and had their fourth child, Ethen, in January 2018.

Shongwe believes that their recent break up may have been the motive for the killings.

“She would say: ‘we will go and you will never see us again because we are suffering.’ I never thought she would do what she did,” he stated during an interview in January.

Shongwe revealed that after struggling to take care of the four children, without any assistance from Maditla and the two biological fathers of Minenhle and Shaniqua, he decided to call things off.

“I would ask why the fathers of the other children were not maintaining them because they had better jobs [than me]. I do not have a stable job and I was struggling to take care of all the children,” he’d said.

The two broke up in October 2018, two months prior to the gruesome discovery of the children’s dead bodies. This timeline will be crucial in the trial and Shongwe will be key in piecing together the children’s last moments of life.

The matter has been postponed until September.

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