'Why I killed my son'
"Don't take your life - that is not going to bring you anywhere," Mishqah Hendricks pleaded with her sister, Zulpha Jacobs, yesterday.
Jacobs, who is to appear in the Mitchells Plain Magistrate's Court on Monday, is on trial for the murder of her two-year-old son, Taariq.
She reported him missing in December only to later shock the country by confessing to his murder. The boy's body was found in a shallow grave in Mitchells Plain.
Last week, Jacobs stunned her family with a letter in which she explained why she killed her son.
She gave her father, Shahied Jappie, the letter on Thursday when he visited her in prison just days before the family prepared to celebrate the end of Ramadaan - their first celebration without her.
"By the time you read this, I would probably try to do something to myself, but please, if anything should happen, let the people out there know why I did that to my son.
"Don't hate me kanallah but I did really try to be strong but I want to be with Taariq and to hold him and never let him go," she wrote.
Yesterday, after the letter made headlines in Cape Town, her father said that he wept bitterly when he read it.
"My daughter, Mishqah, and my eldest son went to visit her this morning. Mishqah spoke to her and said she must keep herself strong," said Jappie.
He said Hendricks pleaded with her not to commit suicide.
In the letter, the nursery school teacher said that her seven-year marriage had failed and her husband wanted to take Taariq from her but she would not allow him.
She said she was out walking. When she sat, Taariq - whom Jappie said never left his mother's side - sat next to her.
"I was crying, thinking where my life is now and what I went through for seven years. By the time I realised what I was doing to my son it was too late. I couldn't believe it, that I just killed my son."
Jappie said he last saw his grandson a few days before his death. Taariq was holding onto his mother's skirt as they walked past the house.
"He was laughing and he said: 'Pappa!' and he just walked on," said Jappie.
Jappie's sister-in-law, Shamiela Jappie, said this year has been agonising for the family.
"She might have snapped that day, because she is not that type of person," said Shamiela.
"She was a good mother, a very gentle mother. I'm sorry for her, I'm sad for her.
"We don't know what happened to her therefore we cannot judge."
Yesterday, Shamiela also received a letter from Jacobs.
"It gets so lonely here. Every day and night [I am] crying, thinking about what I did wrong in my life ... especially for hurting my parents like that. They don't deserve it.
"My daddy is really my rock 'cause he's been here every week," she wrote.
Jappie has visited her almost 30 times at Pollsmoor prison.
He is especially worried that she has not had psychiatric evaluation.