Court hears how victims were killed for cash

2018-06-13 16:38
Hlengiwe Zuma testifies on Tuesday against her accomplices.

Hlengiwe Zuma testifies on Tuesday against her accomplices. (File)

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A woman fingered in a “cash for bodies” insurance scam allegedly had her gardener killed in order to collect money from policies to pay off a loan shark.

This was the evidence of sentenced prisoner, Hlengiwe Zuma, to the Pietermaritzburg high court on Tuesday. For her role, she is serving a 17-year sentence after pleading guilty last year.

Zuma testified on Tuesday in the trial of Joseph Khanyile, Mandla Khumalo and Doris Zaca.

They are charged with three murders and an attempted murder, which happened between 2015 and 2016 in Greytown and Pietermaritzburg.

Zuma said that Zaca approached her in 2015 saying she had financial problems. “She told me she took out an insurance policy for her garden boy. She thought about me because I was in the taxi business. She asked me to give her information about a hitman. She thought as a taxi owner I would have a hitman.”

Zuma said she was “shocked” by what was being asked.

Zaca explained she wanted to have her gardener killed. She then retracted and said she had no intention of killing him. She also said she owed a loan shark R85 000 and that he had threatened to kill her if she did not pay up.

On one occasion Zaca, in the presence of Khumalo and Zuma, told them that “the gentleman to be killed must be given alcohol, pills and then knocked”.

This was because she wanted “insurance to pay double”. Zuma added that Khumalo remarked he had never done what Zaca was suggesting.

Zaca asked how much it would cost to do what she wanted and Khumalo replied he would leave the amount up to her. Zaca said she was willing to pay R100 000. However, this would only be paid once the job was done and insurance paid out.

Zuma said that another time when they met, Zaca told her the gardener had “passed away”.

Zaca told her that “B.I. Buthelezi” fetched the man to take him to Greytown. En route “the boys” stopped them to ask about “vacant land for building”. Buthelezi then left the gardener with them for him to show them around.

“The boys” took him to Greytown and got him drunk. They also gave him pills, recalled Zuma. “They knocked him down in the form of an accident.”

Zuma said Zaca wanted her to accompany her to sort out the insurance paperwork but she was unavailable so she’d suggested Zaca take Zuma’s husband.

After the gardener’s funeral, Zuma was given R20 000 by Zaca. She said Zaca promised her more money after other insurance companies paid her out.

The trial continues.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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