In a case which wouldn’t seem out of place on a true crime television channel, a mother is set to come face-to-face with her sister on Monday, as the latter stands trial for an attempt to kill the former, as well as her five children, the youngest of which was only five months old at the time.
The case of Nomia Ndlovu
Killing for insurance payouts
Even more shocking is the fact that Nomia Ndlovu, who was attached to the Tembisa police station in Gauteng, had allegedly already had six other relatives killed.
The motive? Insurance payouts, which at the time she was finally caught already amounted to more than R1,4 million.
Joyce Ndlovu, her children and their elderly grandmother are the lucky ones who survived her sister Ndlovu’s alleged killing spree, which started in April 2012 with the murder of her cousin, Madaka Homu.
Trail of bodies
Madaka Homu’s body was found in a bush with blunt force trauma, with Ndlovu allegedly pocketing R131,339.70 in insurance money.
Next to die was her sister Audrey, who Nomia is alleged to have poisoned on 25 June 2013 and strangled the following day when she returned to find her still alive.
According to the 56-page prosecution case, Ndlovu collected a total of R717,421.70 in insurance money from her sister’s death.
In October 2015, the body of Ndlovu’s partner Yingwani Mabasa was found with multiple sharp and blunt force head injuries near Olifantsfontein police station in Ekurhuleni.
Ndlovu collected R416,357.84 in insurance money, according to the state’s case.
On 13 June 2016, Ndlovu’s niece Zanele Motha was attacked in Bredel, Kempton Park, and treated for head injuries at Tembisa Hospital.
She was discharged to her aunt, Naomi, the next day but was declared dead on arrival at Arwyp Hospital in Kempton Park.
According to the evidence before the court Ndlovu collected a total of R119,840.00 in insurance money from her niece’s death.
In April 2017, the body of Mayeni Mashaba was found along Delmas Road with a gunshot wound to the head.
According to the cell phone records part of prosecution evidence, Ndlovu was in the company of the deceased prior to his death.
In January 2018, the body of Ndlovu’s nephew Brilliant Mashego – the son of Nomia’s murdered sister Audrey – was found near the Dwarsloop marketplace in Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga.
Prior to his death, according to the indictment, Mashego had questioned his aunt about the money she received from his mother’s death.
On Friday, the mother of his child, Katekani, told the Johannesburg high court the last time he spoke to him was when he went to meet his Ndlovu for a job she arranged for him.
Her sister, Joyce (one of the 112 state witnesses) and Ndlovu’s mother (whom she allegedly tried to kill twice) is expected to take the stand when the trial resumes on Monday.
Foiled by hitmen
In February, Ndlovu hired Lakhiwe Mkhize to kill her sister, Joyce and her mother Maria Mushwana in Bushbuckridge for payment of R2,600.00.
As per the indictment, Ndlovu and the hitman drove to Thulamahashe in Bushbuckridge, where Ndlovu pointed out her mother’s house to the hitman and left as he entered the house.
But when Mkhize saw how old and frail his intended victim was, he instead asked her for water and left.
Ndlovu allegedly hired another hitman, Vincent Kunene, to kill Joyce her sister and her children “for her to claim insurance money” but her alleged murderous spree was about to come to an end.
Horrified that Ndlovu was willing to kill children, Kunene reported this to the police and a trap was set.
On 5 March 2018, the day of the planned murder, Ndlovu booked herself into Carstehof Hospital in Midrand for an alibi but postponed the arrangements to March 7 and asked the hitman to pick her up from the hospital.
On 7 March, Kunene and a Petros Mtshali, in the company of an undercover police officer introduced to Ndlovu as “Sithole”, met with Nomia but little did she know the vehicle was bugged.
On their way to Bushbuckridge, Ndlovu told the hitmen she wanted them to burn her sister and her children in the house during the night.
The indictment states Ndlovu made it clear the hitmen should not shoot her sister because a shooting incident would raise suspicion.
Ndlovu told them she would give her sister and her children sleeping tablets The hitmen were told to break into the house while the family was asleep, gag them with socks and set them alight.
“She handed the undercover police officer a plastic bag full of pills. (Ndlovu) also told them another plan was to strangle them and then set them alight. (Ndlovu) told them she needed money to pay debts and that she will claim the money from the insurance after the death of her sister as she insured her sister’s life,” the indictment states.
However, there was no insurance playout for the children. Ndlovu wanted to kill the children in order to eliminate all witnesses.
They stopped at a filling station in Middelburg where Ndlovu allegedly bought a two-litre bottle of petrol.
When they arrived in Bushbuckridge, she pointed out Joyce’s house and asked the ‘hitmen’ to drop her off at the taxi rank so she had to go back to Hospital.
At the house the Accused pointed out, the police found Joyce and her five children. Ndlovu was arrested later while still at the taxi rank.
Ndlovu is on trial for six murders, eight counts of attempted murder, 11 counts of conspiracy to commit murder, as well as three counts of defeating the ends of justice and four counts of fraud.