Murder-for-money accused update

2017-12-06 06:00

TWO of the five murder-for-money accused pleaded guilty and have been sentenced.

The trial of the other three will be heard over five weeks in May and June next year in the Pietermaritzburg High Court.

Last Thursday, Joseph Khanyile, Mandla Khumalo and Doris Dladla-Zaca appeared in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on charges of murder, attempted murder and insurance fraud.

Co-accused Mildred Khoza and Hlengiwe Zuma, who pleaded guilty to these charges, were sentenced to 17 years and 25 years’ respectively.

The charges related to the murder of three people in 2016 – on August 27 Mzomukule Zuma was plied with drug-laced liquor then taken to a deserted road and driven over.

Victim Sonasakhe Mdlalose was killed in the same way and the third victim, Bongani Gcabashe was shot after
they had to abandon their original “staged” car accident as they were unable to drug him.

They were also charged with the attempted murder of mentally handicapped Thandeka Gwala, who survived the “staged” accident attempt to kill her and a second attempt as she recovered from her injuries in hospital.

According to the indictment insurance policies had been taken out on the victims.

The accused nominated themselves as the beneficiaries and were aware that the insurers and financial service providers would increase the benefits if the insured died in a motor vehicle accident.

The accused ensured that the premiums were paid up for long enough to validate any claims, and then put their murder-for-money plan into action.

The State reported that the insurers, Avbob, Clientele, Discovery, Hollard, Old Mutual, Regent Life, Sanlam and Standard Bank lost over R1 000 000 in payouts to the accused.

In conclusion of the appearance of the three accused, the State maintained “they all acted with common purpose, and regardless whether or not they were all present when the victims were murdered, they should be held responsible.”


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