Sighing heavily, Violet Dikgetsi was so drained that she could not weep for her two children.
On Sunday her former boyfriend put their two daughters into a minibus taxi, set it alight and burnt to death with them.
Kealeboga was only three years old and her sister, Tsholofelo, was seven.
Their abusive and suicidal father, a taxi driver, ended their lives Meanwhile police had been looking for him after Dikgetsi laid an assault charge against him.
"He has taken everything I had," Dikgetsi said. "I will never forget what he did.
"I might be alive but I am dead inside."
The tragic events unfolded on Sunday night in Tshepisong township on the West Rand.
The grieving 29-year-old mother recalled how she was called to the scene where the charred remains of her children and former boyfriend Patrick Mocumi were found in the shell of the taxi.
"It all began when he asked to see the children two weeks ago," Dikgetsi said. "I took my girls to a hair salon to make them look pretty for their father."
Mocumi, 38, arrived as arranged but instead assaulted Dikgetsi and threatened to kill her and the children, she said.
"He then took us to Snake Park in Soweto, where he locked us up in a house for a week, returning occasionally to bring us food.
"On Saturday he told me he was going to let us go and that he wanted to marry me.
I did not respond because I had no intention of marrying an abusive and violent man,"
Dikgetsi said Mocumi dropped her off at her home in Tshepisong and left with the children, saying he was going to visit his mother.
"That's when I went to the police station to lay an assault charge against him. The police and I went to his mother's house but he was not there.
"When he was contacted he said he had a flat tyre and was stuck in Braamfischerville, Soweto," she said.
The police left and that was the last time he was seen alive with the children.
Mocumi's mother, Elizabeth Mocumi, said she last saw her son on Saturday.
"I am very sorry about what happened," Mocumi said. "I cannot believe that he did that. He was fine when I saw him on Saturday. The whole thing has hurt me."
The triple killings have shocked the Tshepisong community, with residents saying Mocumi was a cruel person with no regard for his children.
"Men need to realise that women are a treasure and should be taken care of," said a neighbour who wished to remain anonymous. "What that man did is unforgivable and cruel."
West Rand police spokesman Captain S'phiwe Ndlovu confirmed the incident but said he could not comment any further because details were sketchy.