WITBANK, January 8 – The woman who was arrested for allegedly murdering her four children in Klarinet in Emalahleni, Mpumalanga, appeared in the Witbank Magistrate’s Court on Monday in connection with the murders.
Zinhle Maditla, 24, appeared briefly before Magistrate Darleen Venter where she requested to be allocated a legal aid lawyer. She was remanded and the matter was postponed to January 14 for a formal bail application.
Maditla was arrested on December 30 last year when 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 in Klarinet.
Her landlord, Matilda Mahlangu, told the African News Agency (ANA) on December 31 that she and her other tenants broke the room’s door open and found the bodies after they smelled a bad stench in the yard and saw flies between the curtains and windows. Maditla was charged with four counts of murder.
Speaking to the reporters outside the court on Monday, provincial police spokesman Brigadier Leonard Hlathi said Maditla was admitted to the hospital on the evening of December 30 after the police realised that “she was weak”. He said investigations were continuing.
“She was holistically weak and we decided that she must be taken to the hospital,” said Hlathi.
“She came to us and presented herself as the responsible person for the death of the children. That alone is a strong factor. The postmortem results will tell as to the cause of death of the children. Our investigations are continuing and they will tighten up whatever loose ends that might be there for us to be able to present a watertight case before the court.”
Maditla’s aunt, Felicia Martin, told ANA on Monday that the children would be buried on Tuesday in Klarinet.