Durban - Two women came clean in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Tuesday and revealed how they insured people whose identity documents they were given, then cashed in on the policies a few months later.

Hlengiwe Nkosi, 50, and Thembeni Nsele, 41, pleaded guilty to fraud and were convicted.

They were among eight people charged with seven counts of murder, theft and fraud. A few months ago, Nokwazi Ngema pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to life imprisonment. The others pleaded not guilty and their trials have been separated.

The allegations against all of them were that between November 2010 and October 2012 they got identity documents belonging to people who were alive or whose deaths were not reported to the Department of Home Affairs.

The people whose names were on the identity documents were then insured at one or more insurance companies.

The accused then allegedly killed people who bore some resemblance to those insured.

They went to the mortuary and identified the dead with the IDs they had. Upon receiving a death certificate, they claimed on the policies.

The women who pleaded said they had not taken part in any of the murders.

Nkosi told the court that she had had been approached by Ngema in 2010 and admitted taking out life cover and later claiming against the policies.

Sentencing takes place on Wednesday.

The Mercury