Who needs enemies? The sordid story of Nomia Ndlovu

South Africa was left dumbstruck this past week as details emerged about how a former police sergeant allegedly killed her relatives and a boyfriend over a period of about six years for insurance money. 

Nomia Rosemary Ndlovu allegedly insured some relatives and then ordered hits on them to collect insurance money. Ndlovu’s two nephews, a niece, a cousin, her boyfriend and cousin died following violent attacks in the alleged scam. The former police officer was arrested after an undercover detective recorded  her giving directions to her sister’s house to a hitman, and explaining how the sister and her five children were to be killed.  

As the sordid  details came to light, the matter stirred huge debate on social media and many were left wondering, who needs enemies? Who indeed? Ndlovu’s case stands out because she killed a number of her relatives, but  hers is certainly not an isolated incident in South Africa. A number of people have been killed under similar circumstances. A case in point is that of black-widow Mulalo Sivhidzo, currently serving a life term for the murder of her husband of six months, Avhatakali Netshisaulu for inheritance. She hired hitmen, who included her husband’s friend, and he was burned alive in the boot of his car in December 2006. 

A woman from the Eastern Cape Nomqondiso Thembu  also received a life sentence after successfully organising a hit on her husband, Arthur Thembu, for insurance claims. However, what makes alleged serial killer Ndlovu stand out, apart from the shockingly high body count, is her calculating nature that saw her carefully plan the insurance contracts – even giving fake details to get approval. To then orchestrate the murders, while hiding in plain sight  dressed in blue and carrying a badge, just takes the wind out of one. 

In the wake of this disturbing case, insurance companies have come under sharp criticism for not putting sufficient measures in place to avoid manipulation of the system. Surely, it can’t be ethical to have your life insured without your consent or knowledge. We could easily be moving targets as we go about our lives, with someone following our movements closely. We could be someone’s meal ticket. In the event that the insurer gets broke and desperate, what’s to stop them from ‘helping things along’ and cash in on their investment?

Insurance companies need more regulation, as they have become a huge scam, aiding people’s demise. People have come forward declaring how they are pestered by insurers that “You can add two more people for just R50 extra”. It’s all about dollars and cents for them, no thorough checks on applications and before funds are disbursed after a claim. They smile all the way to the bank, while we watch our spouses and siblings across the table wondering if we are their loot tickets.  

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Safrea or its members.

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