Murder-accused Zinhle Maditla in the dock in the Witbank Magistrate’s Court in Mpumalanga. Picture: ANA Reporter.

WITBANK - Two of the four children who were killed through poisoning, allegedly by their mother, Zinhle Maditla, in Klarinet in Mpumalanga, complained to her about stomach pains and a headache shortly before they died, the Witbank Magistrate’s Court heard on Thursday.

Investigating officer Constable Zinhle Mathenjwa told the court that Maditla confessed to the police that she killed her children by feeding them food that she prepared and laced with poison on the night of December 27, last year. 

She said the 24-year-old Maditla then put the children on a bed in her rented room, covered them with a duvet and slept in the same room. Mathenjwa was testifying for the State during Maditla’s formal bail application.

“The accused person said she also tried to kill herself by eating the same poisoned food. She discovered the following day morning that her children were dead,” Mathenjwa said.

She told the court that Maditla locked the room with the children's bodies inside and went out to have fun with her unnamed female friend. 

Mathenjwa said that Maditla came back later and stayed there for two days. She said Maditla had an argument with her ex-boyfriend on December 27, shortly before she allegedly poisoned her kids. 

The toxicology report has confirmed that the four children died of poisoning, Mathenjwa said.

The State opposed bail on Thursday and Maditla was represented by a Legal Aid attorney, who was only identified as Mr Zondo.

“If the court grants the accused bail, she might kill herself because she tried to kill herself before,” Mathenjwa said.

In an affidavit read out by Zondo earlier, Maditla pleaded with the court to grant her bail.

“My continued incarceration will hamper my preparation for the trial,” she said.

Maditla was arrested on December 30, last year, after she handed herself over at 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. 

Maditla faces four charges of premeditated murder.

Magistrate Mdumiseni Mavuso postponed the hearing to 5 June for arguments.

African News Agency (ANA)