Her name is Leshme Zinhle Maditla, she is 24 years old.
More commonly known as Leshme the young mother appeared in court this week in absentia, charged with the murder of her own kids.
The father of the kids who died after being allegedly poisoned by their mom in Klarinet says he believes she did it in order to “hurt” me.
Talking to 013NEWS shortly after the grisly discovery in the eMalahleni township of Klarinet, 29-year-old Fana Shongwe said he is the man who dated Leshme for close to 7 years fathering 2 biological children with her and raising two more who were from her other relationships.
The two had been experiencing hardships in their relationships and Fana says he decided to end the relationship some weeks ago.
He said he last saw Maditla on Saturday 29 December 2018 and on that day she told him that she “was leaving to go die next to her father in Jo’burg”.
Shongwe said they had “a toxic relationship” and she would accuse him of “playing with her emotions”.
“It wasn’t the first time Leshme had threatened me with death, she would do it whenever I would tell her that I want to get out of the relationship. That’s why I didn’t take her seriously when she said those things on Saturday.
“I think she did it in order to hurt me,” the visibly distraught Shongwe said when he spoke to the 013NEWS reporter this week.
Maditla had four children – two girls, 8-year-old Minenhle and 4-year old Shaniqua, as well as two boys, 7-year-old Blessing and 11-months-old Eittiene.
The 29-year-old Shongwe said he had two children with Maditla – the 7 year old and 11-month-old boys.
“The second-born and the last-born are my kids,” he said.
He said when he met Leshme in 2011 he found her with a child – the 8-year-old Minenhle and said he then fathered her 7-year-old son, Blessing.
But then things didn’t go well in their relationship and the two lovers broke up. Another man came and fathered Shaniqua, the 4-year-old girl.
The 24-year-old Leshme Maditla, who is currently in hospital under police guard after falling ill on 30 December, was arrested on the same day after she handed herself over to the Vosman police following the discovery of the bodies just hours before.
“I tried to come back because I still loved her. We tried to build something out of ashes. I forgave her for everything, we had another child (Eittiene) at the beginning of this year but our relationship continued to be toxic,” he said.
Another family member who asked not be identified said Leshme had been devastated by after finding out that Fana was moving on with his life.
“Why did she kill the children, we all loved them. I don’t understand. Losing a man is not the end of the world. She is my blood but I don’t think I will ever forgive her for this,” she said.
Police spokesman Brigadier Leonard Hlathi said Maditla’s case was postponed to 7 January 2019.
It was postponed in absentia following her hospitalisation this week Monday.
The tragic incident has shocked the community of eMalahleni, raising fresh memories of a similar incident that happened 18 months ago where a mother poisoned her three children and took her own life.
eMalahleni mayor Linah Malatjie expressed her shock at the incident.
She said as a municipality they always tried to put forward programmes that are meant to assist distressed families and individuals.
“We are always saying that the fathers must come and play a part so that the mothers do not find themselves in distress, because as we look at these increasing cases in our area it tells us that the mothers are not able to afford and are depressed. The social grant is never enough and perhaps we are thinking that as a municipality we must intensify those programs to assist the families by bringing on board businesspeople who can help with the necessary resources,” said Malatjie.
(edited by MLM)
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