News / South Africa

Ilse de Lange
2 minute read
8 Sep 2017
6:10 am

Accused wanted to cause her husband pain by ‘killing’ sons, says prosecutor

Ilse de Lange

The accused admitted driving to a deserted spot in 2015 where she shot her sons, but claimed she did not know what she was doing at the time.

Rehithile Matjane. Picture: Jacques Nelles

The state has asked the High Court in Pretoria to convict a Pretoria businesswoman of the intentional premediated murder of her two young sons, who died after she shot them in the head.

Prosecutor Elbie Leonard argued that the court should reject Rehithile Matjane’s defence that she had acted involuntarily because of a short lasting psychotic depressive episode due to the medication she used when she shot her sons Alvaro (2) and Keyon’dre (6).

Defence counsel Piet Pistorius argued his client’s defence of nonpathological criminal incapacity was reasonably possibly true and that she should be acquitted.

Matjane admitted driving to a deserted spot near the old Wallmansthal defence force base one afternoon in April 2015 where she shot her sons, but claimed she did not know what she was doing at the time.

She said she had used medication for a tight chest, a migraine and menstruation pain and had extreme suicidal thoughts before the incident.

But she said she had a happy marriage and would never knowingly have killed her children.

Matjane afterwards asked a female police officer to kill her because she wanted to “rest with her children” and said she had killed them because she had struggled for 12 years in her marriage.

Matjane and her husband, Pretoria psychiatrist Dr Alex Matjane, however, both testified they had a loving, stable relationship.

Leonard argued it seemed as if she had killed the children to spite her husband and cause him maximum pain because she thought he was having an affair.

She asked the court to reject the evidence of a psychologist that Matjane had experienced a psychotic episode in favour of the evidence of a toxicologist that the medication played no role.

Pistorius argued that Matjane’s behaviour was so out of character that the obvious answer was that she did not know what she was doing. The trial was postponed to December. –