Speaking to reporters outside the Witbank Magistrate’s Court in Mpumalanga, Zinhle Maditla’s former landlady Matilda Mahlangu said she could not find tenants for rooms in her yard for about five months after the decomposing bodies were found. Picture: ANA Reporter

Witbank - The former landlady of Zintle Maditla, who was arrested for allegedly killing her four children and staying with their bodies in her rented room in Klarinet in Mpumalanga, on Wednesday said her rental business took a knock as a result of the incident.

Matilda Mahlangu said all her other six tenants moved out of her premises a few days after the discovery of the bodies. She was speaking to reporters outside the Witbank Magistrate’s Court in Mpumalanga, where Maditla was applying for bail.

“I lost business and remained without a main source of income for five months,” Mahlangu said. 

“I cleansed the room in which the bodies were found but that did not help. Many people still did not want to stay in my yard, especially in that room. 

"I managed to get new tenants for all the rooms only last month,” she said

Mahlangu said she sympathised with Maditla’s family but insisted that justice must be served.

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

The 24-year-old Maditla was arrested on December 30 last year after she handed herself in 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. 

Maditla faces four charges of premeditated murder.

Inside the court earlier on Wednesday, investigating officer Constable Zinhle Mathenjwa, who was testifying for the state, told the court that Maditla could be attacked by community members if she was released on bail.

“Many angry community members gathered at the home where the bodies were found and said negative things about the accused,” Mathenjwa said.

Maditla’s defence attorney from Legal Aid South Africa, who was only identified as Mr Zondo, challenged Mathenjwa’s testimony about the toxicology report on Wednesday. 

Mathenjwa previously told the court that the report confirmed that the children died after they were poisoned.

“I put it to you that the report does not say poison was given to the children,” Zondo said.

African News Agency (ANA)