Johannesburg - When the charred remains of a man were found on the side of the road in Brakpan, police battled to discover whose they were.
For 27 days the remains lay unidentified in the government mortuary – until there was a breakthrough.
More than 50km away in Fourways, north of Joburg, a mother and her daughter had been taken in for questioning over the disappearance of Charles Johannes Maphanga.
During the questioning, Cynthia Mokoatlo, 46, and her daughter Thabiso, 29, allegedly confessed to killing Maphanga by feeding him poison, bundling the body in the car, driving all the way to Brakpan, dumping it on the side of the road and burning it.
Mokoatlo is Maphanga’s ex-lover and Thabiso is their daughter. The mother and daughter were charged with the kidnapping and murder.
They appeared in the South Gauteng High Court in Joburg on Monday, where the matter was postponed to give Thabiso an opportunity to obtain a lawyer.
According to the indictment, Maphanga and Mokoatlo were in a 13-year relationship, which produced Thabiso. While the relationship allegedly ended in 1993, the three all lived at Maphanga’s Alexandra property.
However, the property is alleged to have been the subject of a dispute between them. Maphanga allegedly kicked them out, giving them notice to leave by April 30 last year.
The indictment states that April 30 is also the last day Maphanga was seen alive.
His sister later reported him missing.
On May 27, 10 days after the missing person file was opened, Thabiso was allegedly taken in for questioning. She later took the police to the house of her mother’s boyfriend, Joseph Oupa Moima.
Both Mokoatlo and Moima were also taken in for questioning, and the latter allegedly made an affidavit.
“He indicated that Mokoatlo had confessed to him at an earlier stage before the 27th that she poisoned Maphanga with rat poison. Mokoatlo also agreed to a pointing out in which she only implicated herself in the killing and disappearance of Maphanga”, the indictment stated.
“She also pointed out a scene at the corner of Heidelberg Road and Mans Street in Brakpan as being the place where she dumped the body of the deceased after she poisoned him with rat poison.
“Thabiso also confessed her part in the killing and disappearance of Maphanga. Both Mokoatlo and Thabiso further revealed that Maphanga’s body was set alight after they dumped him.”