Couple in dock for fake death plot

2013-05-19 10:00

Karl Rashid and his wife Khulukazi met in Iraq as soldiers – now they’re implicated in a bizarre murder to get an insurance payout.

It was supposed to be a foolproof way to help them live happily – and wealthily – ever after, but instead a bizarre murder plot has landed a Sterkspruit couple in the dock.

Karl Rashid (51), a former US soldier, appeared in the Mthatha High Court on Monday, charged with murder and three counts of fraud.

His wife Khulukazi (39), who has served in the SA National Defence Force, did not arrive and Judge Zamani Nhlangulela issued a warrant for her arrest.

The Rashids are accused of faking Karl’s death by killing an unidentified man so that Khulukazi could claim from her husband’s insurance.

Rashid is considered a flight risk and remains in custody, while his wife was out on R2?000 bail before her no-show on Monday.

City Press has a copy of the indictment against the couple, which details their alleged crimes.

“Prior to the incidents?.?.?.? they had taken out insurance policies, insuring among other things their lives, assets and funeral cover in the event of their death,” it says in the indictment.

“They then conspired, planned and agreed that accused number one (Karl) would fake his death, by killing someone, put the body of the dead person in the motor vehicle of accused number one, thereafter set the said motor vehicle on fire, and burn it while the body of the person killed was still inside the motor vehicle.”

According to the indictment, the couple met in Iraq while deployed there as soldiers from their respective countries.

They became romantically involved, got married in Iraq and then returned to Sterkspruit – Khulukazi Rashid’s hometown.

The couple is alleged to have set their plan in motion on September 3 2011.

It is the state’s case that Karl Rashid killed an unknown man, whom police believe may have been working in the garden of the couple’s home in Manxeba Village, Sterkspruit.

It is alleged Rashid put his watch on the dead man’s wrist, placed the body in the driver’s seat of his Volvo sedan, poured petrol over the corpse and the car and then torched the vehicle.

Rashid then went into hiding and Khulukazi reported his death, using the watch as a means of identifying her “husband”.

She was immediately suspected of murdering her husband, it is revealed in court papers, but on October 5 2011 police were astonished to discover the “deceased” alive and well in a flat in Bloemfontein.

The flat was registered in his “widow’s” name.

A source close to the investigation told City Press police became suspicious when they noticed Khulukazi was visiting the flat at least twice a week.

The couple was arrested in the flat, where it was discovered that Karl had assumed a new identity and illegally obtained a fake South African ID book.

During the month-long investigation, it emerged Khulukazi had already submitted claims for the “death of her husband” and his funeral cover had already paid out.

It is further alleged in court papers the pair intended to defraud OUTsurance, First National Bank, and a US company, Kansas City Life, by making misrepresentations “in pretence that accused number one was dead, whereas they knew he was alive”.

The case was postponed to September 16 and will resume at the Sterkspruit Circuit Court.

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