It's complicated: The wife, the hitman, the insurance money and the love triangle

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An Eastern Cape woman has been found guilty of hiring a hitman to kill her husband for life insurance money.
An Eastern Cape woman has been found guilty of hiring a hitman to kill her husband for life insurance money.
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  • An Eastern Cape woman hired a hitman to kill her husband for R120 000, which he did after befriending the man.
  • The woman then made friends with another woman on a taxi and encouraged her to do the same. 
  • The second woman and the hitman fell in love and were arrested before they could kill her husband.

An Eastern Cape woman has been found guilty of hiring a hitman to kill her husband for life insurance money. But it didn't end there. She then met a woman on a taxi and convinced her to kill her own husband, using the same hitman.

Then the hitman and the second wife fell in love, but were arrested before they could kill her husband.

This may sound like a soap opera, but it's all true.

According to National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Anelisa Ngcakani, the High Court in Bhisho found a 50-year-old Mdantsane woman Nomqondiso Thembu and a 47-year-old hitman Simphiwe Wili guilty of murdering Arthur Vusumzi Thembu in February 2017.

The two were convicted of killing Nomqondiso's husband. In addition, they were found guilty of conspiring to kill Ludumo Nabi in 2017.

READ | Woman who allegedly hired four hitmen to kill her husband appears in court

The court heard that Nomqondiso was looking for a hitman to kill her husband when she met Wili. Nomqondiso wanted to cash out her husband's life insurance and pension funds. She offered Wili R120 000. Nomqondiso introduced Wili to her husband, Vusumzi, as her cousin. Wili and Vusumzi became close friends until Wili killed him on their way from a soccer match in Mdantsane on 24 February 2017.

Nomqondiso paid Wili R60 000 of the R120 000 in March 2017 after the funeral policies had paid out.

A few months after the murder of Vusumzi, Nomqondiso met Busiswa Nabi while travelling in a taxi together in Mdantsane. The two women became friends and Nabi shared her marital problems with Nomqondiso, who encouraged her to kill her husband, Ludumo Nabi, to benefit from his insurance and pension.

All you need is love

Nomqondiso then contacted Wili to assist Nabi with the murder of her husband. While the three were still planning the murder, Wili and Nabi fell in love and a romantic relationship developed.

The Hawks intercepted the planned murder and, in November 2017, arrested Nomqondiso, Wili and Nabi. 

In March 2019, Nabi was given a suspended sentence and she agreed to testify for the State.

State advocate Deolin Willemse urged the court to take into account that the proven objective facts justified an inference of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Willemse said this included Wili being seen with the deceased on the day of the murder, the circumstances under which Wili was seen at the home of the Thembus after the death of the husband, the call records and bank statements of Nomqondiso, as well as the untruthfulness of Nomqondiso and Wili.

Judge Phillip Zilwa found Nomqondiso guilty of murder and two counts of conspiracy to commit murder. Wili was found guilty of murder, conspiracy to commit murder and the unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Zilwa said the state had proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Nomqondiso hired Wili to kill her husband and that they had conspired to do the same in respect of Ludumo Nabi.

The case was postponed to Wednesday for sentencing.

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