Dikeledi Mosana, the mother of two of the three children who were killed. Picture: Bongani Shilubane/ANA

Pretoria - He sent her a text message that read: “sorry my love, you can’t see the children anymore” before he killed himself. And that was the beginning of a nightmare for 31-year-old Dikeledi Mosana, who was soon to discover the man had killed her children.

Three boys, aged 3, 4 and 12 had been kidnapped by the 40-year-old man on New Year’s Eve. Soon after he sent the grisly message last Monday, their charred remains were discovered in a burnt-out car in a bush the following day.

When the mother opened up to the Pretoria News at the weekend she said she was only able to speak about the ordeal because a doctor had given her medication. “It has somehow lifted the huge, depressing cloud off my shoulders,” she said.

The distraught woman lost her sons, aged 4 and 12, while her cousin Maria Mosana lost her 3-year-old boy who was with them.

France Chauke was their father, and an uncle to the youngest. The two shocked mothers told the Pretoria News the incident had left them with untold pain and sadness.

Dikeledi said she was emotionally broken over stressing about what had happened to the children because she was on good terms with the man, who had married her traditionally a few years ago.

“I am puzzled by this whole thing. I cannot bring myself to understand why he did this. When he sent me that SMS I called him hoping to understand what he meant but his phone went straight to voicemail.”

Maria Mosana, the children’s grandmother. Picture: Bongani Shilubane/ANA

Fraught grandmother Maria Mosana, whose daughter is the mother of the 3-year-old, was with them, and she said it was beyond belief. “The children lived here with me. When my son-in-law came to fetch them he was friendly and kind as normal. He told them to go for a stroll with him, and that was the last time I saw the children. They were not even wearing shoes.

“I must say the gruesome deaths of my grandchildren, killed by my own son-in-law, have made me afraid of lobola and marriage. If a man was to come here and say I want to marry your daughter I would refuse, I am so traumatised by this.”

Dikeledi said: “We went for DNA tests on Thursday to help the police with their post-mortem. They just wanted to be sure about the identities but I am sure it is them because I know the car they were found inside. They promised to speed up the process so we could bury the children and put this behind us.”

Police spokesperson Kay Makhubela said the mother had reported the children missing on Monday. A passer-by who stumbled across the burnt-out car and horrific contents on Tuesday led the police to the site.

The children were found burnt beyond recognition inside the car in a bush in Bosplaas West, while Chauke was found hanging inside his house in Mathibestad after a manhunt.

The family said they were in a state of shock and now faced with the big issue of having no finances to bury the children.

Supportive neighbours Joyce Chili, Silvia Mashishi and Violet Makhudu said that as women and mothers, they were hurt by what had happened to the Mosana family.

Chili said: “We are supporting the hurting family. We know they do not have the means to bury these children. We wish they could get help from the community at large before the children's bodies are released from the mortuary.”

The family said they would have coffins, but could not afford other expenses. Neighbours said they needed help with tents, food, chairs and transport to the local graveyard because they expected hundreds of mourners at the funeral.

Any person, organisation or government department wishing to assist with the funeral arrangements was encouraged to contact Chili on 0712737763, Mashishi on 0737437597 or Makhudu on 0769238171.

Pretoria News