GEORGE NEWS - Only one of the three accused in the Hlompho Mohapi (25) murder trial, pastor Melisizwe Monqo, pleaded guilty to his involvement in the young mother's murder.
The trial, which was scheduled to start in the George Circuit High Court on Monday 4 May, was postponed due to the lockdown and started in the George Circuit High Court on Monday morning, 5 October.
Monqo also pleaded guilty to 14 other charges against him of which nine were charges of fraud, one of contravening a protection order, one of assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm, one of kidnapping, one of aggravated robbery and one of defeating or obstructing the course of justice.
His co-accused, his wife Siphosihle Pamba and his cousin Phumlani Qhusheka, pleaded not guilty to all charges against them.
These include murder, fraud, conspiracy to commit murder, attempted murder, aggravated robbery and assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm. Pamba also pleaded not guilty to the illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition as well as a charge of housebreaking with the intent to murder.
During admissions that were read into record by the accused's legal representatives, the court heard that although Pamba remembers making various calls to insurance companies between 2017 and 2018, as well as taking out life insurance and funeral policies, she was under instruction of her husband and merely obeyed his orders.
According to her, she never got involved in his business decisions and didn't question them, nor the consequences thereof.
Qhusheka did not have any admissions to make.
All three accused were allegedly involved in the 2018 murder of Mohapi, who was from Thembalethu, on 5 July 2018.
Her body was found by a local fisherman on the gravel road to the infamous Voëlklip viewpoint.
She was lying on her stomach and had stab wounds to her chest. Her throat was also slit.
The trio was arrested shortly afterwards.
Mohapi was allegedly lured to her death under false pretence of a job interview at George Airport. Life and funeral policies worth more than R3-million were taken out on her name shortly before she was murdered.
The accused allegedly also attempted to kill three other women using a similar modus operandi in King William's Town and Queenstown in the Eastern Cape, by taking out life and funeral policies from various companies on their intended victims' names without their knowledge. These incidents date back as far as 2017.
Court was adjourned before the first witnesses took the stand.
The case serves in front of Honourable Judge Taswell Papier. Adv Evadne Kortjé is for the state, Adv Johan Visser (SC) represents Monqo, Adv Dawie Scholtz represents Pamba and Att Louise Luterek will be representing Qhusheka.
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