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What can drive a mom to the edge

By unknown | Jul 02, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

OVER the past few years South Africa has witnessed a number of cases in which mothers killed their children.

OVER the past few years South Africa has witnessed a number of cases in which mothers killed their children.

While experts have attributed these cases to severe depression, psychologist Ken Resnick said yesterday it would be difficult to say what triggered Saziso Mtshali's actions.

Mtshali, 25, strangled her two children on Tuesday night after a quarrel with their father.

Resnick said: "It could be that she was desperate and had reached a point where she felt there was no more meaning to life.

"You might find that she was lonely, had no one to talk to and could not face the burden of raising the children all by herself. In this case it looks more likely that she was pretty lonely.

"It is also important for one to look at the background of the mother. But in most cases, it is through depression."

Here are some of the cases:

lIn August last year in Vereeniging, a mother, who was afraid she would not be able to feed her baby, killed her nine-day-old child just 24 hours after her one-year-old son had died.

She killed the baby with a scissors and put the body in a refuse bag and stuffed it into a bucket.

l In Limpopo, a couple were arrested in August last year after one of them allegedly stabbed their one-year-old child to death with a kitchen knife.

l In September last year, Ellen Pakkies, a 47-year-old Cape Town mother, strangled her 20-year-old drug addict son who had abused her for years. In January this year, she was sentenced to community service.

l In May this year, an Eastern Cape woman strangled her two children before slitting her wrists. Their bodies were found in the 40-year-old woman's bakkie on the side of the R72.

l A 20-year-old Soweto woman Shirley Obose fed her two children, aged one and three, rat poison. She had battled with depression.


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