I killed and mutilated my son, mother tells court
A GAUTENG mother who stabbed her 5-year-old son to death before mutilating him, because she believed he was the source of her problems, has been convicted of murder in the Pretoria high court.
Pinky Mmolai (not her real name), a mother of three, was previously referred for a mental evaluation, but a panel of psychiatrists found her fit to stand trial - although they said she suffered from depression.
Mmolai earlier described the murder that happened in November 2008 in her statement.
She said she killed her second son, Ntwana, because she could not cope with her financial circumstances, and feared the boy would become a criminal like his father.
Mmolai said on the night of the murder, she had picked her son up in his blanket at midnight and took him to an abandoned house nearby.
"I put him on the floor and stabbed him around five times with a knife I took from my mother's house. He died on the scene quickly due to the stabs," she said.
"I then had the idea to remove his ear and private parts to divert attention from myself as the culprit by creating the impression that he was the victim of a muthi murder committed by an unknown person."
Mmolai said she further tried to strengthen this perception by staging a housebreaking by throwing a stone through the window from outside her house.
"I was very shocked by my actions. I woke my grandmother, who mobilised the community to search for my son," she said.
"During these events, I realised I could not live with my lie and confessed to the authorities the same day.
"I know what I was doing was wrong. I admit it was my intention to end his life."
Mmolai said the fathers of her first and third children had contributed towards their support, but Ntwana's father "was a known criminal".
He was apparently untraceable and never made any contact with her.
She claimed the support she got from her family after her first child's birth stopped when Ntwana was born, and she was shunned and evicted from her home.
In desperation, she took Ntwana to his father's family so that they could raise him as she could not afford it. But they refused to take him in or to accept him as a member of their clan.
After taking her youngest child to her grandmother in Limpopo to heal him from hlangwana (a child sickness), Mmolai decided at nightfall to kill Ntwana. She said his existence was the sole reason why the father of her third child had not yet married her.
She was also overwhelmed, confused and upset at the time of the stabbing, but said she knew throughout that what she was doing was wrong. "I accept responsibility for the results of my actions. I'm very sorry for what I've done and the pain I've caused. I deeply regret what I've done every day," she said.
Mmolai's trial was postponed to March 25 next year for a psychological report.
Judge Vivian Tlhapi said the report should include evidence about Mmolai's personal circumstances as well as that of her remaining children.