Zinhle Maditla, who was found guilty of murdering her four children in Klarinet in eMalahleni, Mpumalanga, wrote a letter to her family members this week and told them how she missed her dead children
This was revealed by Maditla’s uncle, Kevin Balance, while speaking to reporters outside the Middelburg Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday. Balance said Maditla, 25, had sent a letter to her family on Monday, and that she had profusely apologised for killing her children
“She said she misses her children a lot because she does not have them anymore,” said Balance.
“She is very worried because she is no longer a mother. We still love her and we forgave her a long time ago.”
Maditla was found guilty on Monday on four charges of premeditated murder in the Middelburg High Court sitting in the Magistrate’s court. This was after she pleaded guilty to all the charges before Judge Sheila Mphahlele.
She made another appearance in the same court on Tuesday, where pre-sentencing proceedings were expected to start. Maditla’s legal aid lawyer, Eugine Muthivhithivhi, asked for the matter to be postponed to 17 September so that her client could get a pre-sentencing report. Judge Mphahlele granted the request and Maditla remained in custody.
Maditla was arrested on 30 December after she handed herself over to the Vosman police station. This was shortly after the decomposed bodies of her four children – two girls, aged four and eight, and two boys, aged seven years and 11 months – were found in her rented room. She made a confession to the police about the murder of the children on the day she was arrested, said Mpumalanga police spokesperson Brigadier Leonard Hlathi at the time.
According to the Criminal Procedure Act, each conviction for a premeditated murder charge carries a life sentence. This means Maditla might be sentenced to four life terms. Anyone sentenced to life imprisonment is required to spend at least 25 years in jail before he or she becomes eligible for parole.
Balance insisted on Tuesday that his family was hopeful that Maditla would fully serve her soon-to-be-imposed sentence and come back home one day.
“We hope to see her at home one day. She must pay for her crimes. She must be locked up, but the keys must not be thrown away. We hope the court will have mercy on her,” said Balance.
Maditla’s mother, Beulah Martin, mostly remained quiet while sitting in the public gallery of the court before the formal proceedings began.