APART from naming themselves as beneficiaries in a life insurance policy which a couple took out in the name of a man they are accused of hiring a hitman to gun down, the Cape High Court on Thursday heard that they had similarly taken out five more policies in which they were named as beneficiaries.
It emerged in court that accused Vuyisile Ndzumeka took out two insurance policies against the life of murdered Bongani Dingana, while his wife Yalezwa Ndzumeka took out one.
The couple cashed in R120 000 after Dingana was gunned down on June 17, 2009.
It emerged the Ndzumekas also took out life insurance policies in on behalf of Thembikhaya Mdiza, Boniswa Xelelo and Vusumzi Dywili without their knowledge.
The couple are alleged to have hired co-accused Luvo Nketho to kill 23-year-old Dingana, and also stand accused of hiring Nketho to kill Gugulethu Sthembele Matiso High acting Principal Nomziwoxolo Ndziba on August, 24, 2009 after she began probing financial irregularities at the school where Vuyisile worked as a financial officer.
Eleven of the 17 original charges against the couple were dropped in the Cape High Court on Monday but they still faced two charges of murder, amongst others.
All the original eleven charges against Nketho, which include the murder of Dingana and Ndziba, stand.
When Vuyisile was asked by Judge Andries Smit why did he not make Dingana’s mother a beneficiary of the life insurance policy, Vuyisile responded that he did not make her a beneficiary because he was the one paying the insurance premiums.
When asked why he took a life insurance policy on Mdiza’s name, although they were not related, Vuyisile replied that Dingana’s mother gave him the mandate.
Then Smit asked “why would she give a mandate,” Vuyisile said Dingana’s mother had told him Dingana was friends with Mdiza.
When asked if he had checked with Mdiza’s family if it was okay for him to be a beneficiary in Mdiza’s name, Vuyisile said he did not see the need to check.
Asked why he took a second life insurance policy on Dingana, Vuyisile responded that a sales representative had told him the first life insurance policy had lapsed.
But under questioning from Judge Smit, the court heard that Vuyisile had taken the second life insurance policy on Dingana’s name just two days after Yalezwa had also taken one out in Dingana’s name.
State advocate Denyse Greyling put it to Vuyisile that “you took a second life insurance on Bongani’s name because you were close to getting rid of him.”
“You had no arrangements with Bongani’s family and you paid the family nothing” in relation to the costs of the Dingana’s funeral.
When Judge Smit asked Vuyisile why his wife took out an insurance policy on Dingana when one already existed, he said: “She (Yalezwa) would be the right person to answer such a question.”
Vuyisile also admitted to signing four school cheques amounting to R179 000, but claimed he had done so on principal Ndziba’s instruction.
He said he and members of the School Governing Body (SGB) had contacted Ndziba while she was in the Eastern Cape during December holidays and told her that money was need for urgent renovations. — Sandiso Phaliso