Four kids found dead, mom hanging in tree

NO MORE: Sonia Covane supposedly killed herself and her four children early on Sunday morning in Schaumburg squatter camp. She is seen in the picture with Moses, left, and Juvense.
NO MORE: Sonia Covane supposedly killed herself and her four children early on Sunday morning in Schaumburg squatter camp. She is seen in the picture with Moses, left, and Juvense.

A North West man woke up on Sunday morning to find his four children dead.

To make matters worse, Richpito Nyandzi's wife Sonia Covane was discovered later in the day hanging from a tree not far from their small shack in Schaumburg near Hartbeespoort.

On Sunday morning, the bodies of Moses, 2, Orsido, 10, Juvense, 7, and Naison, three months, were discovered in their small shack.

Nyandzi, from Mozambique, had gone to watch the Telkom Knockout Cup final between Mamelodi Sundowns and Bloemfontein Celtic at a local tavern on Saturday night.

"I arrived home at about 11pm after the match. My wife was sleeping with our youngest child Naison on the bed.

"The other three children were sleeping on the floor. She asked me if the game was over and I confirmed it was over.

"I then went to sleep on the other bed," Nyandzi said.

Early in the morning, Nyandzi was woken up by the sound of his wife opening the door.

"She went outside, came back and then went outside. She didn't come back. It was about 4am and I fell asleep. I woke up a few hours later."

When he woke up, he found all the children still sleeping.

"I was a little surprised to see them sleeping because normally they would be out playing at that time. I went over to Naison and saw foam in his mouth. I felt him and he was cold. The others also had foam in their mouths.

"I realised that something was seriously wrong and I quickly ran to my sister-in-law's place to inform her," he said.

The police were called and Nyandzi watched as their small lifeless bodies were carried to a hearse.

"I do not know what could have happened, but I think she poisoned them and later hanged herself. She was a very quiet person and didn't have any friends. I really do not know what could have happened because we never fought," he said.

Nyandzi said he has no money for the funeral. "I will go and meet the local councillor as I cannot afford to bury them. I have also not yet decided whether they would be buried here or in Mozambique."

North West police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Sabata Mokgwabone said an inquest has been opened into the woman's death.

"We are also investigating a case of murder relating to the deaths of the children," Mokgwabone said.

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