Judge Hans Fabricius refused bail to Rehithile Katlego Matjane, 34, who he found guilty of the premeditated murder of her two sons on April 17, 2015.
She and husband Maxwell Matjane had requested bail on the basis that she had to take care of their 10 month-old baby, who she was still breastfeeding.
Before Judge Fabricius handed down his judgment on Friday, he said he had taken into consideration certain aspects, including that both the accused and her husband were well qualified people who owned a number of residential properties and that the mother was still breastfeeding the baby girl.
That the mother had handed her passports in testified she was no longer on medication and was declared mentally stable and therefore no longer a flight risk, were taken into consideration.
“After considering all, there is nothing to justify bail; her two young sons' two young lives were taken under cruel circumstances, therefore I refuse bail. The accused will be detained until her sentencing,” said the judge.
When Judge Fabricius found the accused guilty of the murder he said there were inconsistencies in the mother’s version of events, saying her account of what happened on the day had changed over the course of the trial in order to coincide with her defence.
On that fateful day Matjane fetched her boys from school and drove from Pretoria East, through toll gates all the way to a field in Hammanskraal to shoot them.
She admitted to shooting and killing her 2-year-old son Alvero, who suffered a single bullet wound to the side of his head, and his 6-year-old older brother Keyondre, who was shot in the forehead and suffered a second bullet to his lower right arm. An injury pathologist said he probably sustained that injury as he tried to protect himself.
When he found her guilty, the judge said she should have snapped out of her state when she fired the first shot and killed the first child. In her defence, she said she only had snapshot recollections of what happened on that afternoon, and only remembered strapping the two into her car outside their school.
After that she drove to a remote field in Hammanskraal and committed a horrific crime, an incident she could not remember, claiming she only remembered waking up and finding her sons dead, one in a pool of blood outside the car and the other in the front seat of the car.
Matjane had told Dr Jacobeth Pooe, a psychiatrist at Weskoppies, who was part of the forensic team who assessed her in 2015 shortly after her arrest that she had felt suicidal earlier in the day and fetched her husband’s firearm from the safe. She then went to the garage to shoot herself, but decided against it. Instead of taking it back to the safe, she placed it in the boot of her car.
She blamed the acts on the side-effects of medication she had taken for five days leading to that fateful day, which caused her psychiatric side-effects that led to “sane automatism”.
The medication included Symbicord Turbohaler, Mypaid Forte, Migril and Empacod. She said she had also had a glass of wine during lunch, Red Bull and several sports supplements.
Defence advocate Piet Pistorius on Friday requested leave to appeal to the judge, but was immediately denied that. The case was postponed to the end of March next year for sentencing.
After the judgment was handed, down the couple exchanged hugs.
Her husband, Pretoria east psychiatrist Maxwell Matjane, walked out of court without his wife by his side after years of constantly standing by her side.