Durban - The alleged mastermind of an elaborate insurance scam, who was charged with racketeering, murder and fraud, had been implicated in the case by damning cellphone evidence that linked her to the charges.

Assessing the evidence before her, Durban High Court Judge Fikile Mokgohloa said yesterday that the only inference she could draw was that Joburg businesswoman MaryAnn Dimba had been implicated in 10 fraudulent life insurance claims and five murders.

Dimba’s co-accused Sibusiso Buthelezi had been implicated in three cases of murder and three false claims.

Dimba, Buthelezi and Linda Mdluli were charged with 49 charges including racketeering, fraud, theft and murder.

According to the indictment, the trio gained access to people’s identity documents, and took out insurance policies using their details, but named themselves as the beneficiaries. They then picked up people, murdered them and identified the bodies as those of the deceased policyholders and claimed from the insurance companies.

Seven people were stabbed and one person was shot between 2005 and 2008. The identities of the deceased were not established.

While Judge Mokgohloa would only make her final pronouncement on innocence or guilt at the end of her judgment, she said the evidence, including cellphone data and insurance claim forms, found in her home pointed to Dimba’s involvement in the charges.

In one of the counts, a man was killed and his body was identified as that of Cyprian Mbambo. However, the State had proved that the identification was false.

Judge Mokgohloa also found that Buthelezi had taken out two life insurance policies in his name and false claims were also made.

“The policies were taken out to defraud 1lifedirect and First National Bank and Dimba provided the money for the premiums… A man was killed in Wyebank and that body was identified as being Buthelezi. The claims were then made with Dimba, using a stolen identity, as the claimant.”

The judgment continues today.

The Mercury