The death of Nomia Ndlovu’s niece, Zanele Motha, has on Friday afternoon dominated the prosecution’s cross-examination of the former police officer, who stands accused of listing family members on insurance policies and later killing them to cash in on the policies.  

Motha, one of the six family members Ndlovu is accused of killing, was killed in June 2016 and Ndlovu benefitted R120 000 in policy payouts following her death. 

Motha, who stayed with Ndlovu at the time, was admitted to the Tembisa Hospital the first time on the 13th of June 2016. On the 14th, she was released into her care after she had been found injured on the side of the road in Kempton Park.  

In Ndlovu’s version, Motha who was in a wheelchair when she was discharged from hospital on the 14th, could not walk and only started walking with difficulty the following day at home.  

“I was with her and I saw her. She could not walk,” says Ndlovu. 

The version is, however, in contradiction to Dr Ipeleng Nku’s version who testified before the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court that there was no way Motha could have been unable to walk as she did not sustain any internal injuries.  

Ndlovu has told the court that no one else visited her niece at home on the 15th while she was under her care.  

“It was only me and her.”

She says it was only late in the evening that she heard Motha coughing from the other room and upon arrival, she found her niece in a kneeling position. She says it was then that she decided to take Motha back to hospital. 

Motha was declared dead on arrival.  

The prosecution asked to stand down the cross-examination into circumstances surrounding Motha’s death. On this note, the court adjourned until Monday, where the matter will now be heard at the Johannesburg High Court.  

Earlier, the prosecution began the day by focusing on Ndlovu’s admission on 21 July 2021 to conspiracy to murder her sister, Joyce Ndlovu and her five children. While Ndlovu admitted to remembering that admission, she was quick to point out that it was not an admission to commit murder but to travel to Bushbuckridge together with Njabulo Kunene and Mr Dlamini.   

“I don’t remember conspiring with Mr Dlamini to kill anyone,” she says.  

She says her reason for travelling to Bushbuckridge with the two men was to introduce Kunene to a traditional healer.   

Ndlovu, who can be seen and heard in a video telling Mr Dlamini to burn Joyce and her five kids leaving behind no witnesses so that they could cash in on insurance policies, says everything she said in that video was something Kunene had told her to say so that Dlamini could provide transport to Bushbuckridge.    

“Before I got into the car, I had a short discussion with Vincent Kunene. Vincent told me what to say,” says Ndlovu. 

Ndlovu is accused of the murders of Witness Madala Homu who was murdered in March 2012, cashing in R131 000 from insurance policies; Audrey Ndlovu killed in 2013 – Ndlovu cashing in R717 000; her boyfriend Morris Mabasa – cashing in R416 000; her niece Zanele Motha who died in June 2016 – cashing in R120 000; her nephew Mayeni Mashaba who died in 2017; as well as Mashego who was murdered in January 2018. 

According to Ndlovu, she listed the family members in her insurance policies so that she would not be burdened in the event of their death as it had been the case before. The prosecution put it to her that, that was not the case, pointing at the evidence of Homu’s sister, Eva, who told the court that she only contributed R200 towards burial expenses, despite benefiting just over R131 000 in policy payouts following Homu’s murder.

Ndlovu has insisted she gave the family R15 000 from the first policy payout of R131 000 and also bought food and pay for her travel expense to Tzaneen where Homu was buried.

I may not be in a position to name them item by item, but I bought things, spend money on travelling. I also tried to contact them and tell them about the money that was paid out six months later. But they didn’t take my calls. I ended up spending the money, using that money for myself. Because there was no communication and it was money that was in my account, gradually, I used it all.”