Murder-for-money five appear in High Court

2017-05-31 06:05
Photo: supplied Doris Jabulile Zaca.

Photo: supplied Doris Jabulile Zaca.

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A COLD-BLOODED plot to kill individuals to cash in on their insurances landed the gang of five in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Monday 22 May on charges of murder and attempted murder.

Two of the accused, Mildred Fisani Khoza from Keates Drift and Doris Jabulile Dladla from Imbali, are teachers while the third accused woman, Hlengiwe Judith Zuma from Pietermaritzburg is a nurse. The two men accused are Joseph Zamokwakhe Khanyile from Matimatolo, formerly employed as a packer at NTE Hermannsburg and taxi owner, Mandla Doda Khumalo also from Matimatolo.
It is alleged the three women were named as beneficiaries  and had cashed in on some of the policies.

Three individuals lost their lives as a result of the accused’s chilling plot - Mzomukule Zuma on 27 August, Sonosakhe Mdlalose on 19 March and Bongani Gcabashe on 4 August – all last year.
The prosecution alleged that the car accidents were “staged” and each victim was run over after having been given a mixture of alcohol and drugs which immobilised and incapacitated them.
It was further alleged that the gang, having failed in its attempt to intoxicate the second victim Gcabashe, abandoned their “accident” plan, but lured him to a tuck shop in Matimatolo where he was shot dead.

They were also charged with the attempted murder of allegedly mentally handicapped Thandeka Gwala, who survived the so-called “staged” accident on 20 November, 2015, but was seriously injured. It was reported that she also survived a second attempt on her life while in hospital.

According to the State’s indictment, the insurers and financial service providers (Avbob. Clientele, Discovery, Hollard, Old Mutual, Regent Life, Sanlam and Standard Bank) lost over R1 000 000.
It is claimed the accidents had been staged because the killers knew that insurers and financial providers paid out a higher benefit to the nominated beneficiaries of life insurance policies if the insured person died in a car accident.

The five originally appeared in the Greytown Magistrate’s Court last year and were refused bail by Greytown Magistrate, Mr C.F. Masikane, who stated that their release would be pose a danger to public safety given.

During the hearing in Greytown last November and December, a volatile crowd of youth from Matimatolo demonstrated outside the court maintaining the accused were innocent and “that they knew who the killers really were”.

In the High-Court hearing last Monday the case was adjourned after state advocate Attie Truter said the defence had indicated it needed more time to prepare for trial and requested it be recorded that the prosecution was ready to go to trial on that day.

Judge Jerome Mnguni postponed the case to 13 November and it has been set down to continue to 1 December.

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