Dad lives with guilt over deaths

South Waikato News - - Your Paper, Your Place - FLORENCE KERR

The fa­ther of the two chil­dren stabbed to death by their mother says he was an­gry at him­self for a long time.

Moses Matekino opened up dur­ing the launch of the Faces of In­no­cence project last year about the hor­rific deaths of his two sons Wini­ata, 3, and Si­mon, 1, at the hands of their para­noid schiz­o­phrenic mother Ta­nia Tokona in June 1999.

‘‘I was an­gry at her and I was an­gry at my­self be­cause I wasn’t there for my boys and my girl,’’ Matekino said.

On June 5, 1999, at their ru­ral Ti­rau home, Tokona bun­dled Si­mon, Wini­ata and Alex into the fam­ily’s white Ford Fair­mont and drove the 5km to Ti­rau to visit her el­derly un­cle. It was 9pm.

She asked her un­cle for a Bi­ble and a copy of her whaka­papa (fam­ily tree) and stayed about 20 min­utes be­fore head­ing off.

But they didn’t make it home.

Tokona killed Wini­ata and Si­mon at a ceme­tery in Ti­rau stab­bing them to death with scis­sors while she prayed at a grave­side.

Matekino’s 2-year-old daugh­ter Alexan­dria was spared.

She drove to Whanganui , with the bod­ies of her sons in the boot and her daugh­ter strapped into a car seat at the back.

She dropped her daugh­ter off at a nearby house be­fore she drov­ing over a cliff.

‘‘They wanted my ba­bies and wanted them bad,’’ she later told po­lice. She didn’t ex­plain who ‘‘they’’ were.

‘‘I knew it was wrong but I couldn’t stop.’’

Tokona sur­vived and was charged with in­fan­ti­cide, but was later found not guilty by rea­son of in­san­ity. Tokona is a para­noid schiz­o­phrenic.

Matekino of­ten won­ders what his sons would be do­ing now.

‘‘Wini­ata would be 19 now and Si­mon would have been 17. I think about them ev­ery day,’’ he said.

‘‘Wini­ata would be work­ing now and Si­mon would still be at school. It’s hard.’’

Matekino had to iden­tify the bod­ies.

‘‘I saw all the wounds. I seen Wini­ata. His hand fight­ing the scis­sors.

‘‘I never saw the at­tack, but I could see what his hand was say­ing to me.’’

Wini­ata had had stab wounds all on him; Si­mon around his head and body.

‘‘All I re­mem­ber is walk­ing in this build­ing and see­ing my sons. I was cry­ing.’’

The house near Ti­rau where the fam­ily lived and where Moses still lives to­day.

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