Stepmom pleads not guilty in Lache case
‘I was drunk at the time and did not mean to kill her’
AMOTHER accused of beating her three-year-old stepdaughter to death said at no point did she feel the need to stop beating the child. Anthea Kleynhans told the Western Cape High Court in her plea explanation yesterday that she wanted to punish the child.
Kleynhans, a mother of three, allegedly beat Lache Stols to death using a belt.
She was charged with murder, child abuse and alternatively assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.
Kleynhans said she did not have the intention to kill Lache and pleaded not guilty to the charges. She only pleaded guilty to common assault.
The incident occurred on January 23, 2012. Kleynhans allegedly assaulted the child repeatedly, causing blunt force trauma by beating her by hand and assaulting her with implements.
Lache died on arrival at the hospital due to multiple injuries.
Kleynhans told the court that after the beating the child was still awake and looked “okay”.
“She walked with me to the room to go and dress her. I was still drunk when I was beating the child.
“I can’t say how long the beating lasted. I used a belt only. I was angry at that stage, I thought I wanted to punish her. I didn’t feel the need to stop,” said Kleynhans.
At the time of the beating one of her children was playing outside.
She said the injuries sustained by Lache could have in part been due to her picking up the child to dress her.
“That is the only squeeze action I can remember.”
Lache had been living with Kleynhans and her father, Angelo Stols, in Happy Valley in Blackheath for about three months.
Before living with the couple she lived with Stols’s mother in Oudtshoorn.
When Stols was at work she was left in Kleynhans’s care.
On the day of the incident Kleynhans said she had three quarts of beer, 500ml of vodka and juice and another 500ml of whiskey and water.
Kleynhans said she had to look after Lache against her will. She said that during those three months she experienced “a very bad time” in her life.
“I drank too much during that time. It was a vague and hazy time of life. I did not have the intention, nor did I foresee, that the deceased would experience grievous bodily harm because of my actions,” she
‘I CAN’T SAY HOW LONG THE BEATING LASTED. I USED A BELT ONLY. I DIDN’T FEEL THE NEED TO STOP.’
The case was postponed until October 9 when the State and the defence will present heads of argument. –
MURDERED: Lache Stols, 3, with her mother Lara Boer.