A court on Thursday heard details of how a Hammarsdale mother hired hit men to murder her 25-year-old daughter.
Her 6-year-old granddaughter, asleep in the same room when the killers arrived, was also strangled and her throat slit.
Thandi Ndlovu on Thursday pleaded guilty in the Pietermaritzburg High Court to plotting the murder of her daughter, Nompumelelo Mthembu.
Ndlovu, 43, admitted that she had been “persuaded” by her other daughter – Mthembu’s half-sister, who was 14 years old at the time – to kill Mthembu in December 2014.
According to Ndlovu’s plea, before Judge Rishi Seegobin, she and Mthembu lived apart for many years.
She explained that Mthembu was born out of wedlock, and when she married a man who was not Mthembu;s father, the man did not want Mthembu around.
Mthembu lived in Johannesburg with her daughter, Bandile. After her husband’s death, Nldovu invited her daughter and granddaughter to live with her.
They moved in with Ndlovu in February 2014.
“While staying with me, Nompumelelo would frequently become intoxicated and would ill-treat me and my other daughter.
“She threatened to kill me and her half-sister. Eventually, my other daughter had enough of the ill-treatment and advised me that we should have Nompumelelo killed. I agreed,” Ndlovu said.
Mthembu’s half-sister, then recruited three hit men, Sithabise Gumede, 30, Sanele Gumede, 22, and Sabelo Gumede, 21, to kill Mthembu.
Sithabise and Sabelo have pleaded guilty to the murders. Sanele has pleaded not guilty and will stand trial later this year.
According to Sithabise Gumede’s plea, they were approached by the 14-year-old to kill Mthembu and were paid R7 000 to commit the murder.
When they arrived at the house on the night of the murder, Mthembu was asleep with her daughter.
Sithabise admitted to strangling Mthembu until she passed out. Bandile then awoke and Sanele strangled her as well. The trio then dragged the mother and daughter to a nearby bush where Sanele allegedly slit their throats.
In her plea to the court, Ndlovu said she was deeply sorry for her actions and loved her daughter, which is why she invited her to come live with her.
“If I had known it would end like this, I would never have fetched her to live with me,” she said.
Arguing in aggravation of sentence, prosecutor Candy Kander submitted that even if Ndlovu wanted to kill her daughter, she could have taken steps to protect her grandchild.
“The killing of the two victims were akin to the slaughter of animals,” Kander said.
Seegobin will deliver sentence on Friday.