GEORGE NEWS - The modus operandi of their plan to defraud life and funeral insurance companies, became apparent at the conclusion of the third day (Thursday 2 August) of the bail application of the three suspects accused of the brutal murder of Hlompho Mohapi (25).
Mohapi was murdered on 5 July.
The state is opposing bail in the case against pastor Melisizwe Monqo (30) from King Williams Town, his fiancée, Siphosile Pamba (23), and the pastor’s cousin Phumlani Qusheka (28), in the George Magistrate’s Court. The three have been in custody since they were arrested last month.
The investigating officer on the case, Detective Constable Thembekile Matwa, took to the witness stand last Thursday and described Monqo and Pamba’s alleged grand sham of deceit and deception. A pattern emerged as Matwa explained how the two accused had operated what they must have assumed was a well-orchestrated plan. Numerous life and funeral policies were taken out on different people’s names telephonically.
During Matwa’s testimony the court heard that the day before her death, Mohapi underwent a blood test needed for an alleged job interview at the George airport. The blood test was taken inside a vehicle in the parking area at Thembalethu Square shopping centre.
This interview however, seems to have been a hoax to lure her out of Thembalethu. The airport confirmed that there were no interviews for positions at the airport that day.
Two days before Mohapi was murdered, two life insurance policies, one worth R3-million and the other worth R200 000, as well as a funeral policy worth R50 000, were taken out on her life. Everything was done telephonically. The blood tests that Mohapi underwent was a prerequisite for the R3-million life insurance policy.
On the day of the interview, the day that Mohapi was murdered, her brother and boyfriend allegedly saw her getting into a silver Suzuki vehicle without number plates.
This is believed to be the same rented vehicle police confiscated from Monqo on Monday 16 July, the day of his arrest in Zone 9 in Thembalethu. Police found blood in the vehicle and it has been sent for forensic analysis.
At 12:30 that day the cellphone tower in Thembalethu registered Hlompo’s phone. An hour later both Hlompo’s and Monqo’s phones registered on the Moeras river cellphone tower near the George airport.
It appears that both Monqo and Pamba impersonated their intended victims in calls to the various insurance companies to verify details and payment arrangements, as the telephone numbers given to the companies were theirs.
According to Matwa there are a number of people in the Eastern Cape on whose lives Monqo and Pamba took out policies of the same nature. During the investigation Matwa undertook a trip to the Eastern Cape to verify information that he had obtained from various insurance companies.
He contacted other intended victims on whose lives policies were taken out and none of them were aware of the policies in their names.
All the cellphone numbers linked to Monqo and Pamba will be sent for analysis to ascertain how many more policies of the same nature have been activated.
The bail application will continue tomorrow, Tuesday 7 August.
Read previous articles:
- Shocking evidence heard in court
- Phone found in murder suspect's cell
- Trio in Hlompho murder want bail
- Pastor's fiancé 3rd suspect in murder
- Third suspect arrested after Hlompho's murder
- Pastor's bail application next week
- Pastor in court for Hlompho's murder
- Was Hlompho's murder premeditated?
- Confiscated vehicle allegedly used in murder
- Brutal murder leaves many questions
- Voëlklip murder update
- Man arrested after Voëlklip murder
- Victim texts for help before murder
- Vrou se liggaam op Voëlklip-Pad gevind
'We bring you the latest George, Garden Route news'