‘He stomped on her as if he was stomping on a snake’: Family of woman beaten to death by lover
“He killed her in such a cruel manner and intended to end her life.”
These were the harrowing sentiments expressed by a heartbroken family mourning the death of a Mpumalanga woman almost a year after her brutal murder at the hands of her partner.
Maria Malinga, 37, was beaten to death on June 27, 2020 by Charles Maboate, her boyfriend of more than seven years, following a heated argument at their home.
The “happy” couple had just returned from an event when a drunk Maboate accused the mother of two of cheating on him.
Her cousin Mpinah Makumbela described how he then beat her and dragged her along a gravel road before severely assaulting her in front of a neighbour’s gate.
“I was the first to get a phone call from a neighbour who told me Charles was killing Maria.
“I tried to contact my aunts but couldn’t reach them. I then asked my siblings to rush over [to the scene]. When they arrived, they confirmed she was severely injured. When my aunt arrived, she said Maria was dead.”
When police and medical personnel arrived at the scene, they found Malinga lying alone in the street — unresponsive — and rushed her to hospital, where she succumbed to her injuries.
“He stomped on her as if he was stomping on a snake,” a devastated Makumbela, 26, told TimesLIVE.
Maboate was arrested soon after the incident when he confided in a neighbour, who accompanied him to Mmametlhake police station to hand himself over.
Makumbela characterised her cousin’s relationship with Maboate as toxic and abusive, and said it worsened over the years despite many attempts by her family to intervene and encourage Maria to leave.
Maboate once beat the vivacious woman “until her teeth came out” and during another beating he injured her knee.
“Sometimes she would not tell us when he beat her but I could see the injuries.”
Makumbela described the family’s grief about Malinga’s brutal murder.
“We all miss her. She loved dancing, making jokes and singing. It was fun when she was around,” she said.
“He hasn’t tried to apologise [for what he did]. His family is yet to apologise for what their son has done,” Makumbela said.
Maboate was sentenced to a 18-year jail term on May 20, 2021 in the Mpumalanga high court, sitting in Middelburg, for the murder.
“The state means business when it comes to gender-based-violence. Those like Maboate should know the state has had enough of people who prey on defenceless women and we believe the sentence will serve as a deterrent,” said Maj-Gen Thulani Phahla, acting provincial police commissioner.