GEORGE NEWS - Cellphone evidence showed in court on Wednesday 28 October indicated that two of the three accused in the Hlompho Mohapi (Koloi) murder were in the Herold's Bay area on the day she died.
Mohapi's body was found by a local fisherman on the Voëlklip road near Herold's Bay on 5 July 2018. She was lying on her stomach and had a gaping wound to her neck, as well as seven stab wounds to her chest.
The analysed cellphone evidence presented by a Hawks senior forensic analyst showed that the cellphones of both Meliswe Monqo and his wife Siphosihle Pamba were picked up by the Moeras River cellphone tower, which covers the area west of the George Airport near Herold's Bay, at approximately 17:58 on the day of Mohapi's death.
A signal from Monqo's phone was also picked up by the same tower at 12:50 that day.
Signals from the cellphone of the third accused, Phumlani Qhusheka, were picked up by towers in George at 03:50 that morning and then his number was inactive until 15:29 that afternoon when it became active in Mohapi's handset.
Mohapi's number was picked up by the Moeras River tower shortly before 13:00 on the afternoon of her death. Afterwards, all calls made to her went straight to voicemail.
When Qhusheka was arrested in Knysna two days later, on 7 July, he was in possession of Mohapi's phone.
The records also showed numerous communications between the three accused leading up to the day of Mohapi's murder and until Qhusheka was arrested. It also showed that there was communication between Pamba and Mohapi the day before her death and between Pamba and the nurse who drew Mohapi's blood for an HIV test at Thembalethu Square.
When the nurse, who was authorised by an insurance company to draw Mohapi's blood for an HIV test, testified on 14 October, the court heard that she took a sample of Mohapi's blood at Thembalethu Square as arranged and was under the impression that the HIV test was required by an insurance company for a policy. She did not have any knowledge as to what policy it was.
However, Mohapi's boyfriend testified earlier that he accompanied her to Thembalethu Square for her blood to be drawn for an HIV test, and his understanding was that it was a prerequisite for the job at George Airport that she would be interviewed for the following day, the day she was murdered.
Mohapi was allegedly lured to her death under false pretence of a job interview at the airport. Life and funeral policies worth nearly R5-million were taken out on her name shortly before she was murdered.
During their testimonies in court, Mohapi's brother and her boyfriend both said that Monqo was the driver of the silver Suzuki that picked up Mohapi to go to the job interview at the airport that day. They also said that there was a man in the back seat of the car and although the boyfriend could not identify him, Mohapi's brother identified the man in the back as Qhusheka.
The case, that was postponed until February 2021, 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.
Insurance assessor testifies
During the testimony of Eric Buckle, a Johannesburg life claims assessor at OUTsurance, on Monday 26 October, the court heard that HIV tests are only necessary when taking out comprehensive cover. Three of the four calls that were made to OUTsurance by a woman were for accidental death cover only.
Buckle told the court that on 11 July 2018, a man who said he was Mohapi's life partner informed OUTsurance that she was stabbed to death on 5 July that year. The same person also provided the claims advisor with an e-mail address and contact details for the claim.
On 12 July, Buckle had a look at system-generated e-mails and noticed that a life policy to the value of R3-million was taken out less than five days before the claim was filed.
He subsequently discovered that more life insurance policies had been taken out on Mohapi's life from Clientele Life and One Life Direct. These policies, as well as the policies from OUTsurance, were all taken out on 3 July - two days before Mohapi was murdered.
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