• Killer mom Zinhle Maditla handed down four life term

    Killer mom Zinhle Maditla handed down four life term

    Mpumalanga – Zinhle Maditla, the 25 year old Mpumalanga woman who was convicted for killing her four children has been sentenced to four life terms in prison for her crimes. She was arrested on December 30 last year after she handed herself over to the Vosman police station.

    While delivering the sentence in Middelburg, Judge Sheila Mphahlele said, “The children suffered the most gruesome acts at the hands of their mother, who was supposed to nurture and protect them.” The Judge further added that the Zinhle Maditla showed full intentions of killing the children and there were no indications of remorse in her behaviour.

    “The accused betrayed her own children. Having consumed the poison, the children did not die immediately… they died long painful deaths. What is mostly disturbing is that these acts took place at their own home. This place was supposed to be their own heaven with their mother,” added the Judge.

    Maditla who seemed to be in a physically debilitated state in the court was walking with difficulty and was seen sobbing and hugging her family members after the sentencing was done. One of her relatives was heard saying to her, “We will always love you.” She wept as she was escorted back to the holding cells after the end of the proceedings.

    Maditla pleaded leniency on her behalf before, saying betrayal and heartbreak arising from the actions of her boyfriend, who was also the father of two of the children, drove her to commit the gruesome murders. She also claimed that she had intentions of committing suicide after killing her children.

    Earlier, Maditla’s legal aid lawyer, Eugine Mathivhithivhi, had asked the court to take into account her age and the fact that she “did not waste the court’s time” but pleaded guilty to all the charges and deviate from the prescribed minimum sentence. “This is a person who showed remorse,” mentioned Mathivhithivhi.

    After commenting on Madiltla’s actions, the Judge mentioned “I could not find exceptional reasons which justify a deviation from the prescribed minimum sentence.”

    The prosecutor Ntsika Mpolweni had said during Maditla’s cross-examination that the fact she did not seek any help after poisoning her children indicates that she wanted the children to die. “These were painful deaths. The children experienced headaches but she did not seek help for them,” said Mpolweni.

    Maditla failed to provide any reason as to why she did not summon an ambulance or even seek help from a neighbour.

    After Maditla’s surrender last year, the decomposed bodies of her four children – eight-year-old Minenhle, seven-year-old Blessing, three-year-old Shaniqua and eleven-month-old Ethen – were found in her rented room in Klarinet.

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