A woman who is accused of killing her four children in Klarinet, eMalahleni, Mpumalanga, allegedly kept their bodies in her rented room for four days before handing herself over to police, the Witbank Magistrate’s Court heard on Friday
Prosecutor Johan Harmse told the court that the 24-year-old accused, Zinhle Maditla, had prevented other people from entering the room between 27 and 30 December last year.
He said that when neighbours asked the accused about the bad smell emanating from her room, she allegedly told them that she had kept rotten meat in the room.
“The accused often went into that room to change her clothes without reporting the matter,” said Harmse who was presenting closing arguments for the State during Maditla’s bail application hearing.
“When her neighbours asked her where her children were, she said they were taken by their father. This shows that she is capable of concealing evidence. She only handed herself over to the police after the bodies were found.”
The children were 11-months-old, three, seven and eight years old.
Harmse told the court that Maditla, who is charged with a Schedule 6 offence, failed to show exceptional reasons why she should be granted bail in terms of Section 60 (11) of the Criminal Procedure Act.
Maditla was represented by Mphile Ndzondo from Legal Aid South Africa.
Ndzondo told the court earlier on Friday that the impact the children’s deaths had on Maditla was “one of exceptional circumstances”.
“We cannot change the fact that the applicant will always be hurt by the loss of her children,” said Ndzondo.
“The applicant handed herself over to the police. This is an indication that she will not evade trial if she is given bail.”
Magistrate Mdumiseni Mavuso postponed the case to 24 June.