Maphephi Alinah Mokwena has admitted to poisoning three of her children and their father, according to police spokesperson Captain Phumelelo Dhlamini.
Two of the girls and their father died, while another child is in the hospital. Dhlamini said the post-mortem report has revealed that all four were poisoned.
“On Thursday, June 23 2022, the post-mortem revealed that the cause of death is poisoning. During further investigation, the mother of the children admitted that she bought a poison called Temik to mix with a soup [she was cooking]. She was arrested and detained at the Bethlehem police station,” said Dhlamini.
Mokwena, 31, and her 21-year-old sister Mantwa appeared at the Bethlehem magistrate’s court in Free State on Friday and were charged with three counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder.
The court ordered the duo back in court on June 30 for a formal bail hearing.
Fourteen-year-old Mamsi Portia Pamplen and 10-year-old Meiki Mokwena allegedly consumed the brown beans soup before going to school. Their other sibling, 11-year-old Lerato, was admitted to Phekolong Hospital.
“The deceased were served brown beans soup by Maria Mokwena [the aunt] before they went to school and work. The children complained of stomach pain at school and were taken to the hospital, where they lost their lives.
“Their father also fell ill while at work and was taken to the hospital where he also passed away,” said Dhlamini.
Education MEC in Free State, Dr Tate Makgoe, sent his condolences to the family.
He also called on business people, non-government organisations, church groups, the Dihlabeng local municipality, the Thabo Mofutsanyane district municipality, and other organs of state to lend a hand and ensure the deceased received a decent funeral.
“We are deeply saddened by these untimely deaths and wish to convey our condolences to the family who lost their children in this tragic way,” said Makgoe.
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