South Africa

Woman accused of killing family for life insurance to remain in custody

The Molopo Magistrate’s Court has postponed the bail application of Agnes Setshwantsho, the woman accused of killing her family members for life insurance.

Setshwantsho made her second court appearance on Friday and is facing a charge of murder, two counts of fraud and one of defeating the ends of justice.

The state is opposing bail on the basis that the accused is a flight risk and has previously evaded arrest. The state also says it has a strong case against her.
Prosecutor Ntendeleni Tshinyani told the court that acclaimed investigator Sgt Keshi Mabunda will take the stand.

While the defence previously indicated that the accused had no pending matters, on 18 November it was informed of a case that had been opened against her in Setlagole on a charge of theft under false pretext.

Setshwantsho has a previous conviction for assault. However, her lawyer, Matlantla Mahlangu, reading the bail affidavit said Setshwantsho would plead not guilty to all charges against her.

Appealing for an urgent bail, the defence told the court that she has high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes and had not been able to take her insulin shots since her arrest last Thursday.

It added she also doubted if the facility where she is being held had the capacity to store her medication. She said she could afford R3000 bail and had no intention of calling any witnesses.

However, the bail was postponed to 6 December.

ALSO READ: Another Rosemary Ndlovu: Pretoria woman benefits from murdered family’s insurance claims

The North West woman was arrested last Thursday on allegations she murdered her relatives to benefit from insurance claims.

The 49-year-old woman was traced to and arrested in Centurion during a takedown operation led by the Saps in collaboration with an insurance company.

For the past two months, Sergeant Keshi Mabunda and a team of detectives had been working on the case after a tip-off from relatives of this suspect. Mabunda was roped in to kick-start investigations due to his expertise in solving similar cases.

According to Brigadier Athlenda Mathe, through analysis and collection of evidence including the exhumation of a body, the team was able to link its latest suspect to the team’s first focus of the case.

The murder that was initially ruled a ‘natural death’ happened in Mmabatho in the North West where a female relative died under mysterious circumstances in March 2023.

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Investigations revealed the suspect allegedly fraudulently took out insurance on behalf of her relative, prior to her murder.

Police are also investigating the deaths of the suspect’s son, who died in July 2023, her husband, who died in 2016 and her two daughters, who died in 2015 and 2005.

The suspect allegedly pocketed large amounts of money throughout her activities.

Rosemary Ndlovu

Sergeant Mabunda, roped in the investigations due to his expertise in solving similar cases, is the one who nailed Nomia Rosemary Ndlovu.

ALSO READ: Nomia Rosemary Ndlovu sentenced to life imprisonment for murder

Ndlovu, a former police officer, was in 2021 sentenced to life in prison for plotting to kill her sister and her sister’s five children in Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga, to cash in on insurance and funeral policy payouts.

She was also slapped with five years for defeating the ends of justice, 10 years for each count of fraud, 10 years for each of the seven counts of incitement to commit murder and 10 years for attempting to murder her mother.

Ndlovu received more than R1.4 million in insurance payouts after the deaths of five of her relatives and her boyfriend over a period of six years between 2012 and 2018.

Her killing spree came to an end when Vincent Kunene, one of the hitmen she hired to kill her sister as well as her children, was horrified that she wanted kids murdered and reported it to the police.

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