It emerged that their father had slit their throats, one by one. Lesiba Kekana killed his children - aged between 4 and 13 - to spite his wife who had an affair.
He admitted to this in the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, and he was sentenced to a total of 62 years’ imprisonment in April, 2016. Judge Joseph Raulinga at the time ordered that he had to serve 52 years
Kekana has now turned to the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein, as he felt his sentence was shockingly harsh.
Five judges of the Supreme Court replaced his effective 52 years in jail term with four life imprisonment sentences. They said he deserved the harshest punishment the court could give him.
Judge Raulinga at the time sentenced Kekana to a further two years for assaulting his wife, Lorraine Kekana.
She lived and worked in Pretoria, while their four sons - Hlologelo, 13, Keneilwe, 10, Bokang, 6 and Lekgoledi, 4 - lived with their father in Limpopo.
Kekana said he and his children drove to Pretoria on September 4, 2015, as he wanted to speak to the families about their marital problems.
The meeting, instead of resolving their problems, exacerbated them.
It emerged that his wife had an affair with another man, but she told him that she had spoken to her lover and they terminated the relationship. But when Kekana phoned the lover, he denied the relationship had been ended.
Kekana drove back to Limpopo with his children, and when he got home he became extremely angry with his wife. He explained to the court: “I decided to kill myself, but then I wondered what would happen to my children. I thought that they would suffer without me.
“I got a knife and slit Bokang’s throat. He died on the scene. My children were in their bedroom, but Hlologelo came to the sitting room. I gave him the phone to say goodbye to his mother. Afterwards, I also slit his throat and he died.”
Kekana said he went to the bedroom where his other two children were sleeping and he slit their throats as well.
“I then cut my throat but unfortunately I did not die.”
Kekana said he then wanted to hang himself, but neighbours knocked on the door and when they saw what had happened, they called the police.
The judges of the Supreme Court said it was clear the father planned to kill his children to spite his wife for rejecting him. They said the court had to clearly convey the message that it would impose the heaviest possible sentence against those convicted of heinous crimes, especially against innocent children.