Wife organised hit on her husband to get insurance policy payouts

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A woman who hired three teenagers to murder her husband so she could receive life insurance payouts has been sentenced to 25 years’ imprisonment.

The High Court in Polokwane sentenced Kedibone 47-year-old Lonia Nyathi (pictured) for the murder of her husband, Sandy, who was stabbed to death on 3 December 2022 in Enable Village in the Mopani district of Limpopo.

Mashudu Malabi-Dzhangi, the National Prosecuting Authority’s spokesperson for Limpopo, said Nyathi was initially charged alongside the trio whom she hired to kill her husband: Remember Surprise Malepe (19), Ethen Raganya (18), and Poopo Ventry Mabela (18).

The three young men entered a plea and sentence agreement with the State and became State witnesses after their conviction and sentencing.

This resulted in Nyathi changing her mind about pleading not guilty and denying she had anything to do with her husband’s death. She, too, entered a plea and sentence agreement with the State.

Nyathi disclosed that she hired her former co-accused to kill her husband for R15 000.

Nyathi instructed her accomplices to stage a hijacking by barricading a road on which she and Sandy would be driving.

On the day of the murder, Nyathi was driving her car pretending that she was accompanying her husband to work, Malabi-Dzhangi said. Before reaching the workplace, she stopped the car and asked Sandy to remove objects from the road. The men stabbed him to death when he alighted from the vehicle. One of them pretended to attack Nyathi.

Malepe was sentenced to 10 years in prison, and Raganya and Mabela were each sentenced to an effective eight years.

In mitigation of sentence, Nyathi’s lawyer said the accused was a first offender, had shown true remorse by pleading guilty, has a minor child, and was suffering from two chronic illnesses.

In aggravation of sentence, the prosecutor submitted that Nyathi was motivated by greed because the police investigation found that she was entitled to payouts from several insurance policies in the event of her husband’s death.

The State also submitted that a suitable sentence would be 25 years’ imprisonment.

The High Court found that the plea and sentence agreement was in the interests of justice and accordingly sentenced Nyathi to 25 years of direct imprisonment. She was also declared unfit to possess a firearm.

Nyathi’s assets were frozen during the trial, and she did not receive any payouts from the insurance policies.

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