Durban - A Zululand woman was on Tuesday sentenced to life in prison for murdering a young girl to collect insurance.
Nokwazi Ngema-Zondo pleaded guilty, admitting she “procured” – with the help of two men – a young girl from Swaziland and then killed her, passing her off as Hlengiwe Nokubonga Mncube, another woman.
She took out insurance policies in Mncube’s name between July and October 2012.
Ngema-Zondo had first stolen Mncube’s ID document before taking out the policies with Old Mutual and Assupol, who paid out a total of almost R100 000.
In her plea statement, Ngema-Zondo said that one of the men who helped her, identified only as Mambo, had brought the victim to Pongola.
She and the other man, Thobani Mpanza, then fetched the girl and took her to Mpanza’s home in Newcastle.
It is still not known how the girl, whose identity is still unknown, was lured to South Africa, or whether she was kidnapped.
“We prepared a mixture and gave it to her to drink. It caused the girl to get dizzy and we took her to the bush where I strangled her,” Ngema-Zondo said.
She said she then identified the body as that of Mncube and presented the stolen ID to collect the proceeds of the policies.
Ngema-Zondo was sentenced in the Pietermaritburg High Court to life imprisonment for murder, five years for fraud, six months for theft of an ID and six months (alternatively a R1 000 fine) for contravening the Human Tissue Act.
Judge David Ntshangase said that her actions were actuated by greed and that the elaborate planning and execution of the murder indicated the mind of a cold killer.
“You had time to reflect on what you were doing, but you defied your conscience all in the name of money,” he said.
“The aggravating features far outweigh any mitigating factors in this case.”