A 31-year-old mother from Utopia farm near Bethlehem in the Free State, has been charged with three counts of murder and one of attempted murder after she confessed to poisoning her three daughters and husband.
Two children aged 10 and 14 and the 49-year-old husband died after eating the brown bean soup which the mother dished up for them before they left home for the day. The third child, an 11-year-old girl is in ICU.
Police Spokesperson Phumelelo Dlamini says the children were rushed from school to a local clinic after they complained of stomach cramps – two were declared dead on arrival. Dlamini says similarly their father also fell ill at work and was taken to hospital where he passed away.
The mother, Maphephi Mokwena was arrested together with her 21-year-old sister Mantoa. Dlamini says the mother admitted that she bought poison called Temik to poison the soup.
Maphephi Mokoena and her younger sister and Mantoa appeared before the Magistrate’s Court charged with counts of murder of Maphephi’s children and their father.
Maphephi did a confession statement that she bought poison and mixed it with their breakfast whereby they later died while at school and while at work.
Maphephi is remanded in custody and will appear before the Bethlehem Magistrate’s Court on 30 June for a formal bail application while Mantoa is released on free bail.