Sunday, 5 June 2011

FILICIDE (attempted): South Africa: Seipati Thekisho pleads guilty to attempted murder

May 31 2011 8:08AM
Zinhle Mapumulo   
The Soweto woman accused of stabbing her nine-year-old daughter eight times a week ago was denied bail at the Protea Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
Seipati Thekisho, 36, pleaded guilty to attempted murder but said she was possessed when she stabbed her daughter, Thato. The case was postponed to Friday for further investigation.
Thekisho’s mother, Mantoa Raphala, is still baffled as to why her daughter tried to kill her granddaughter.
Family members who were in court yesterday refused to speak to the media, saying the incident was still too fresh in their minds.
Thato is in hospital in a stable condition.
Thekisho is not the first woman to have attempted to murder her own flesh and blood.
Recently, a woman from Garankuwa poisoned her one-year-old child with Blue Death rat poison. The 37 year old told the police she could not support the baby on her own and decided to kill him.
In April, Mapaseka Seoka, 28, was sentenced to 12 years in jail after she pleaded guilty to killing her nine-day-old daughter, Ditlhoriso, in 2008. Half of the sentence was suspended for five years on condition she is not convicted of assault, abuse or killing a child.
Seoka was initially charged with killing her two children, 14-month-old son Lebohang and Ditlhoriso. But the charges against her for the murder of Lebohang were provisionally withdrawn pending further investigation.
Like most mothers who kill their children, Seoka told the court she was forced to do it because she could not support her children as their father abandoned them.
Psychologists have expressed concern about this growing “killer mum syndrome”. “It is all fair and equal under the law that the women be prosecuted but we must remember that there is more to this,” said Lynda Maurice, a clinical psychologist.
“It is no using hauling them before courts when we are not digging for the reasons behind this inhumane act. No mother in the right state of mind would murder her own child.
“When this happens, it signals fear, depression and state of hopelessness.”
Lucy Holborn of the SA Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) said absent fathers might have something to do with it. “Although no studies have proved that absent fathers could lead desperate mothers to kill children, it can be linked. “What concerns us though is that the outcry is always directed at the women. Instead of asking ourselves where the father was when this happened, we criticise the woman for killing her children.”
The SAIRR recently published a paper on the state of families in the country. It revealed that 9 million children have living but absent fathers.

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