KZN woman jailed for insurance murder

2014-02-26 00:00

A KWAZULU-NATAL woman was jailed for life yesterday after admitting that she had drugged and strangled an unidentified victim from Swaziland for the purpose of lodging a false life insurance claim.

She used a stolen identity document to submit the claim.

Judge David Ntshangase said he could not find any circumstances that would warrant less than the minimum prescribed sentence for Nokwazi Hambeleni Ngema Zondi (39) of Nongoma for the murder.

He said the unknown young woman who was murdered was “procured from Swaziland” but her identity is still unknown.

“We are not told of the manner of her procurement. She could have been abducted or lured on some promise of employment.

“We do know she was procured from Swaziland and taken to Pongola,” the judge said.

Zondi is allegedly part of a syndicate involved in a number of similar crimes. Eight alleged members of the syndicate are due to stand trial in Newcastle in April this year.

Zondi pleaded guilty in the Pietermaritzburg high court to four counts of defrauding Old Mutual and Assupol life insurance companies, the theft of the identity document of Hlengiwe Nokubonga Mncube, murder of an unknown woman, and of contravening the Human Tissue Act by using the body of a person unlawfully.

The murder was committed at Blaaubosch near Newcastle on October 16, 2012.

In her statement read to court by her attorney Innocent Mthembu when she pleaded guilty, Zondi said she and a Thobani Mpanza had arranged with one “Mr Mamba” to get a girl from Swaziland whom they had plans of killing.

“Mr Mamba brought the girl, whose identity was unknown, from Swaziland, and took her to Pongola where we fetched her. We took the girl to Madadeni, Newcastle, to the home of Thobani.

“We prepared a mixture which we gave to her. The mixture was meant to make the girl dizzy. It did. We then took her to the bush where we strangled her to death. I personally strangled the deceased until she died,” said Zondi.

She admitted that she thereafter took part in the identification of the body of the girl and misrepresented to the mortuary that she was Hlengiwe Nokubonga Mncube (whose identity document she stole).

This was for the purpose of having the body released to her and procuring the proceeds of a policy.

Mthembu told the court that Zondi had asked him to inform the court that she was remorseful for her actions.

However in reply, state advocate Sipho Magwaza said it was aggravating that the crimes were carefully planned and executed and were motivated by greed.

He said the family of the murder victim was still not aware what had become of her because her identity could not be established.

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