Grieving dad won't forgive Vlakfontein 'killers'

A forensic pathology team at the crime scene at a house in Vlakfontein where seven people were found dead.
A forensic pathology team at the crime scene at a house in Vlakfontein where seven people were found dead.
Image: SANDILE NDLOVU

Forgiveness is impossible to fathom for the two fathers of three children who were killed in their home at Vlakfontein, south of Johannesburg, last week.

Tebogo Lekotje alternates between wanting vengeance and wanting to hear why they had to die.

Yesterday, he said he hoped the man alleged to have murdered his 13-year-old daughter, Karabo, her mother Nomfundo Khoza and five other relatives would get bail.

"One thing I can tell you is that if he gets bail, I will pay his bail myself. I will then do with him as I please," Lekotje told sister publication, Times Select following court proceedings at the Lenasia magistrate's court, where two suspects made a preliminary appearance in connection with seven counts of premeditated murder.

Lekotje was referring to 61-year-old Fita Khupe, who is said to be from Mozambique and living legally in SA, and a 27-year-old illegal migrant from Zimbabwe.

The second suspect, who chose not to apply for bail, cannot be named at this stage, as he is expected to also face a charge relating to the alleged rape of a minor.

"[If guilty] both of them don't deserve to live. They don't deserve to live among people [if they are found guilty]."

He said he did not know the younger man, but he knew Khupe.

"He has been with Nomfundo's aunt for about 15 years, but I wasn't close to him. I never really spoke to him."

The grieving father, however, said he was desperate for closure.

"I am very happy that there is a light [with arrests being made and the case coming to court] because in the end we will find out what happened and who was behind this. I don't care about a lot of things, but I just want to find out why my child was killed," Lekotje said, bursting into tears. He said it was tough to bury his child at the weekend.

"It was very sad to see so many people just lying there, dead, when they have done absolutely nothing wrong, especially the children.

"What had the children done? But we are trying as a family. We will be okay," he said, choking back on his tears.

He cannot find forgiveness for the men who stand accused of the killings.

"No, I won't forgive. I don't want to speak to them or come across them at all. I don't want to see them near me at all. All I know is that they [allegedly] killed my child. I don't want to hear anything from them," he said.

Lekotje found it difficult to watch the two men in the dock yesterday. Seated in the courtroom gallery, he took off his cap, shook his head and broke down.

Cedric Shembe, the father of Luyanda, 7, and Nondumiso, 2, who were also murdered, spoke to Times Select by telephone, saying he was on his way to buy sleeping tablets.

He had known Khupe for some time and had enquired about the younger accused when he first saw him in the family home.

"I was told that he is the son of one of the uncles in the family. But for me, the story didn't make sense because the uncle had died in 1988, but this man was born in 1991," Shembe said.

Shembe said he had been mentally prepared to come face to face with the men alleged to have killed his children. He, however, felt traumatised by the ordeal. "It is bad. What hurts me the most is what I saw there and now, I get to see them, the alleged perpetrators," he said.

Asked whether he would be eventually willing to forgive, Shembe said he could not immediately say.

"Forgiveness might come once I get an explanation. For now, I need the explanation as to why this torture and brutal killings happened," he said.

Shembe said next week the family would meet to discuss what they would do with the house.

X