Convinced his sister-in-law had bewitched him, a mine worker shot her dead in a mealie field on Monday, Eastern Cape police said.
Captain Mduduzi Godlwana said the man believed that, as part of her witchcraft, she had fed him poison which was giving him mouth sores.
While she was in the fields collecting mealies to feed her six young children at 7am on Monday, he shot her three times ? once in the forehead and twice in the left arm.
Three of her children fainted when they heard of her death and had to be admitted to the Holy Cross Hospital, said Godlwana. Their father died in 2001.
Asked who would care for them now, he said: "There's no one."
"The one born in 1985 is going to head the family. And no one is employed there. It is painful."
The family lives in the Dolopini administrative area.
Godlwana said their uncle ? their father's brother ? had been arrested and was in custody in the Mtomtsasa police cells. He would appear in the local magistrate's court on Wednesday.
Police had taken possession of the licensed 9mm pistol he used in the shooting.