Three killed ‘for life policies’

2016-11-04 10:43
Police have said if anyone has information that could assist them with their inquiries into the case they can contact Captain Mebra Nzimande at 082?702?0909 or Sergeant Jurgen Rencken at 071?481?3176.

Police have said if anyone has information that could assist them with their inquiries into the case they can contact Captain Mebra Nzimande at 082?702?0909 or Sergeant Jurgen Rencken at 071?481?3176. (Supplied)

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Pietermaritzburg - Two women from Pietermaritzburg are among five people implicated in a chilling “get rich quick scheme” to cash in on life insurance policies taken out on the lives of specially chosen victims.

Doris “Jabu” Dladla-Zaco and Hlengiwe Judith Zuma appeared in the Greytown Magistrate’s Court on Thursday to apply for bail together with Mildred Fisani Khoza and two men, Zamokwakhe Joseph Khanyile and Mandla Doda Khumalo.

They are charged with three counts of premeditated murder, one attempted murder, fraud and two counts of theft of motor vehicles.

The state alleges that two victims, Mzomuhle Zuma and Sonosakhe Mdlalose, died of their injuries when they were allegedly drugged and deliberately run over by their assailants using stolen vehicles.

Zuma was hit by a car on the Greytown/Msinga road on August 27 last year, and Mdlalose was killed in March this year on the Ematimatolo main road.

A third victim, an allegedly mentally disturbed woman, Thandeka Princess Gwala, survived a similar attack on the Copesville/Wartburg Road in November 2015, as well as a second alleged attempt to kill her by lethal injection while she was recovering in hospital from her injuries.

A fourth victim, Bongani Gcabashe, a college student at Hammarsdale, was shot dead after the killers’ plans to get him drunk so that they could run him over allegedly went awry, The Witness learnt.

The court was also told on Thursday that accused Hlengiwe Zuma alone faces yet another charge of murder committed in the Plessislaer area in 2014 involving a life insurance claim, but no further details of that case were provided.

A huge crowd turned up at the Greytown court on Thursday to hear the five apply for bail.

While Khanyile and Khumalo were photographed before they covered their faces with newspaper, supporters of the women made sure they had colourful scarves on hand to cover their heads before they even emerged from the vehicle.

When they entered the court later, the women kept their faces covered until the magistrate told them to remove the scarves and explained that no one would take their photograph in court.

Khanyile — the first of the accused to testify on Thursday — claimed the entire crowd was there to support him and his co-accused.

He told the court he will plead not guilty and he “denies all the allegations”.

State advocate Attie Truter told the magistrate, C.F. Masikane, that the state was opposing the release of all the accused on bail on a number of grounds.

These were that if released they will pose a danger to public safety, will attempt to evade their trial, will destroy or conceal evidence or interfere with the state’s case, undermine the objectives of the criminal justice system and disturb public order, peace and security.

“The motive for all these crimes was purely financial,” he said.

Truter said the state will lead evidence by Hawks investigator Warrant Officer Nelson Naicker to show that before they were killed, life insurance policies were taken out on the lives of each of the murder victims as well as the attempted murder victim (Gwala).

“On different dates after their lives were insured the victims were killed, and an attempt was made to kill Gwala,” he said

Truter said the three women — Khoza, Zaco and Zuma — had been named as the beneficiaries of the policies in respect of which claims were submitted to various insurance companies, and in some instances payment was made, he said.

He said the state intends to prove that the five accused had conspired with each other as well as others to kill the victims so they could claim the insurance.

Truter said the state has “direct” evidence implicating the accused consisting of the documented insurance claims, as well as evidence that will be given by section 204 (accomplice) witnesses.

There is also circumstantial evidence linking them to the offences.

The bail application will resume on November 14.

Police have said if anyone has information that could assist them with their
inquiries into the case they can contact Captain Mebra Nzimande at 082 702 0909 or Sergeant Jurgen Rencken at 071 481 3176.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  crime

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