South Africa

‘List of addresses, new passport’ – NPA insists ‘insurance fraud killer’ is a flight risk

Alleged insurance fraud killer Agnes Segomotsi Setshwantsho will find out whether she will be released on bail later this week.

The state concluded its closing arguments in the accused’s bail application on Monday before the Molopo Magistrate’s Court in North West.

The judgment on the application had been expected to be delivered last Friday but was rolled over after the state requested a postponement to prepare its response to the new submissions that emerged during the defence’s closing arguments.

Accused’s many addresses

The NPA has reiterated that the reasons granted by Setshwantsho’s legal team were not compelling enough for her to be granted bail.

“We believe we have put our best foot forward in terms of the arguments that we submitted to this court for this person not to be granted bail,” NPA North West spokesperson Henry Mamothame told Newzroom Afrika on Monday.

Setshwantsho is accused of murdering her family members for insurance payouts.

The suspect, who was arrested in November 2023, is facing a charge of murder, defeating the ends of justice, and two counts of fraud.

ALSO READ: Defence says one murder charge can’t be modus operandi as ‘insurance fraud killer’ sobs in court

Mamothame said the state maintained its view that the accused was a flight risk.

“Remember the issue of her being a flight risk emanates from the list of addresses that she has submitted and the ones we were able to discover through investigations when we were profiling her for this bail application.

“The investigating officer [Keshi Mabunda] indicated that it was really difficult to get a hold of the accused person in all of these addresses she [provided], especially the one she says is her home address, where she stays in the Northern Cape. Now, how would you ensure that such a person would come to court when the date is set for her to appear in court? So we believe she is a flight risk,” he continued.

He also highlighted the state’s argument in court that Setshwantsho only recently acquired a passport.

“This passport is new… she can go at any given time to avoid coming to court and answering to the accusations levelled against her.”

‘Strong opposition’

Mamothame further pointed out that the state did not even consider the idea of Setshwantsho’s bail conditions should she be released.

“Ordinarily, the courts would tell her the conditions of her bail, but we don’t want to entertain any conditions, hence, we did not submit as to how much, should the court grant her bail, should it be.

“We are not entertaining bail because in strong opposition of bail being granted to her, looking at the seriousness of this case.”

On whether the accused could potentially flee to Botswana, where her deceased husband’s relatives live, Mamothame said: “They are not necessarily her relatives, so we can’t bank on that, that when she visits Botswana she will be going to those relatives. It could be a way out of South Africa to wherever else.”

READ MORE: Life insurance fraud: Here’s how innocent consumers are ‘tricked’ into becoming complicit

Setshwantsho’s lawyer, Nhlanhla Mahlangu, argued for his client’s release from the Mahikeng Female Prison throughout the bail proceedings.

Mahlangu told the court that Setshwantsho remaining in custody would affect her health as she was suffering from a chronic condition.

The accused has high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes.

She will learn about the outcome of her bail application when the court delivers its judgment on Friday.

Insurance fraud

Setshwantsho was charged with connection to the death of her niece, Bonolo Modiseemang.

Investigations revealed that Modiseemang died in March 2023 due to poisoning.

Her death had initially been declared as a “natural death”. The victim fell ill after eating a sandwich allegedly given to her by Setshwantsho.

It has been alleged that the accused fraudulently took out a R3 million life policy on Modiseemang six months before her passing.

The South African Police Service (Saps) is also investigating Setshwantsho for the mysterious deaths of her husband, two daughters, son and brother.

Her son died in July last year, while her spouse passed on in 2016 and her daughters in 2015 and 2005.

NOW READ: ‘Celebrity’ murder accused sobs while testifying about murdered boyfriend