"I never meant to kill her. She is my daughter."
So says an Eldorado Park mother who is out on bail, after being arrested for killing her daughter earlier this week.
A visibly shaken and chain-smoking Veronica Raquel Dunn, 48, explained to News24 on Friday how she had snapped and stabbed her drug addicted daughter Venolia Avend, 24.
Venolia was killed on Tuesday morning. Her unemployed mother appeared in the Protea Magistrate’s Court the following day, and was granted R2 000 bail.
Dunn insists that the stabbing was not premeditated, but happened on the spur of the moment.
The fatal incident occurred after Venolia demanded food parcels from her mother so she could sell them to buy drugs.
According to Dunn, her daughter had moved out of her house long ago and was staying with her drug addicted boyfriend.
Last week, Venolia received food parcels from a local clinic and gave them to her mother, but later changed her mind and demanded the groceries back.
"Then she started arriving in the morning as usual, wanting to sell the groceries to buy drugs. On Friday morning, she asked me to give her a bag of mielie meal and I gave it to her because she was fighting with me.
'She held me by the throat'
"On Tuesday morning, I was sleeping with my other daughter Ashadine, 21, when Venolia arrived in our shack, demanding the remaining groceries. I told her that she was going to sell them to smoke drugs, and she started insulting me,” Dunn said.
Venolia, who was allegedly armed with stones, then started smashing things in her mother’s bedroom.
"I pushed her out and locked the bedroom door with Ashadine. She kicked down the door, wanting to attack us. She finally entered and charged at me and her sister. She held me by my throat for a while, choking me, and I pushed her back.
"She went for her sister and grabbed her too. Venolia then went for a knife, which was on the floor, wanting to stab her sister. I quickly dived for it and I don’t know what happened later," she said, sobbing.
Dunn stabbed her daughter once in the back. A neighbour rushed Venolia to a fire station for medical assistance, but she died there.
'I never meant to kill her'
"I had to save my life and my Ashadine’s. I never meant to kill her. It was a snap of a moment and can’t forgive myself. I killed my daughter that I loved. I was shocked and still don’t believe. I then handed myself over to the Eldorado Park police.
"The incident still lingers in my mind. I am battling to sleep. I miss her, especially in the morning, when she used to arrive here asking for 50 cents or R2. She was my daughter and she will always be my daughter and I will always love her.
"I hope what happened here is an eye opener to many parents who live with drug addicted children. My daughter had brought trauma and many bad memories in my life. I am not proud of what I did. All parents faced by a similar situation must seek help before things get out of hand," she said.
'She was stealing everything in my house'
Dunn said Venolia had dropped out on school in Grade 7 because of her drug addiction.
She claimed she had tried everything to help her daughter get off the drugs, but was unsuccessful.
"She was stealing everything in my house. She stole my clothes… our toiletries, kitchen appliances and every item she could get in the house. She sold them to buy drugs.
"I have taken her to various rehabilitation centres, thinking she will change. I have lost a job opportunity at a local school because she and her boyfriends and their friends stole from that school.
"How were they going to employ me when my daughter was stealing from them? I have even met former president Jacob Zuma in 2013. She promised Zuma that she would change her ugly habit, but she never did," Dunn said.
Residents in the area, including Dereleen James, who once wrote to Zuma seeking help about drug addiction in Eldorado Park, are offering Dunn support. A candlelight vigil is expected to take place on Friday night at her home.
During Dunn's court appearance on Wednesday, residents packed the courtroom in support of her.
Ellen Pakkies, who was sentenced to a three-year suspended sentence and community service for killing her tik-addicted son Adam, 20, in 2007 in Lavender Hill, Cape Town, is also expected to visit the family next week.
A movie was recently released about Pakkies’ life. Message of support are also pouring in for Dunn. She is expected back in the Protea Magistrate’s Court next week, a day after the burial of her daughter.