Utterly shocked - Dad is puzzled why lover killed their children
THE father of three of the five children who were killed by their mother says he still cannot believe that the woman he loves is capable of murder.
Itumeleng Lesimola said he was still struggling to understand what had prompted Vinolia Siwa to kill their children.
"She is a quiet and soft person. She was a dedicated churchgoer and there was no sign that she was not happy with our relationship," he said.
Vinolia Siwa, 33, of Pampierstad in North West last week pleaded guilty to five counts of murder, and even described to a high court judge how she had killed her children.
Siwa told the court that severe depression, being unemployed and suffering abuse at the hands of Lesimola had driven her to kill her children.
Lesimola denied that she abused Siwa and their children, saying that he had suspected that something was amiss with his live-in lover.
He said that on October 1 last year - two weeks before his girlfriend stabbed Sizwe, 13, Lukhanyo, 10, Edward, 5, Reatlegile, 4, and drowned Naledi, 2 - he had noticed that Siwa wasn't her normal self.
He said Siwa took a bath and put on her best clothes to go the shops to buy washing soap, but she didn't return home for 10 days.
"I was playing soccer with my children that morning when Kelebogile (Vinolia Siwa) told me that she was going to a spaza shop to buy washing soap.
" I let her go, but wondered why she was nicely dressed. Little did I know that she would go away for 10 days," said Lesimola. "I called everywhere but no one knew where she was.
"I had to feed and change nappies for Sizwe, who is disabled and our last born Reatlegile."
Lesimola said he did not want the children to feel the void of their mother's disappearance.
"I walked like a headless chicken that Saturday, asking everyone about her whereabouts. I went to report her to the police, called her neighbour, her sister and relatives and they said they didn't know where she was."
He said he had never had a smooth relationship with Siwa's family. "They disapproved of me, they told her that she could do better than me. The couple had had been together for nine years.
The first time he visited Siwa in prison after the tragedy, Siwa could not tell him why she had killed the kids. Lesimola was also not aware at that time that Siwa was pregnant. He said he only found out when the baby was three months old.