GEORGE NEWS - The bail application for the three suspects accused of the brutal murder of Hlompho Mohapi (25) on 5 July continued in the George Magistrate's Court on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The state opposed 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). The three have been in custody since they were arrested last month shortly after Mohapi's body was found dumped next to the Voëlklip road near Herold's Bay.
During his testimony the investigating officer, Detective Constable Thembekile Matwa, testified that Monqo and Pamba are flight risks and could leave the country as soon as bail is granted. He said that although they are both unemployed, there are reasons to believe that they have other sources of income.
According to Matwa there are a number of people, besides Mohapi, on whose lives policies had been taken out and these individuals could be at risk if the accused are granted bail.
Qusheka's bail was opposed on the grounds that he forms an integral part of the investigation as a possible accomplice. The state is also not convinced that he will refrain from tampering with evidence or intimidating witnesses.
During the bail application the modus operandi of the accused's plan to defraud life and funeral insurance companies became apparent.
When Matwa took to the witness stand last Thursday, he described Monqo and Pamba's alleged grand sham of deceit and deception. A pattern emerged as Matwa explained how the two took out numerous life and funeral policies on different people's names telephonically.
Matwa testified 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 by a nurse inside a vehicle in the parking area at Thembalethu Square shopping centre.
The job interview, however, seems to have been a hoax to lure her out of Thembalethu.
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. All of this was done telephonically. The blood tests that Mohapi underwent was a prerequisite for the R3-million life insurance policy.
The court also heard that a man, only known as Mr Zonke, was named as her life partner and the beneficiary in the event of her death. Mr Zonke is apparently related to Monqo.
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 also found blood in the vehicle.
During the investigation Matwa obtained information from various insurance companies and contacted other intended victims on whose lives policies had been taken out. None of them were aware of the policies in their names.
The bail application was postponed until Tuesday 14 August for heads of argument.
Read previous articles:
- Hlompho's murder: Insurance scams order of the day
- 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
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