Nomia Rosemary Ndlovu was found guilty after three months of trial that dominated national headlines. According to Times Live, she was also found guilty of attempted murder of her mother Maria Mushwana, guilty of defeating the ends of justice and fraud on Clientele, 1life, Old Mutual and Assupol insurance companies to the tune of 1.4m rand ($95,000; £69,000).
According to the BBC, all six were murdered between 2012 and 2018 with the help of a hitman. Her killing spree was brought to light after hitmen she hired to kill her sister, Joyce, and her five children went to the police.
Revealing how Ndlovu was arrested in court, prosecutors said a sting operation was organized where an undercover police officer was brought under the guise of assisting the hired hitman to wipe out Joyce and his family.
She was secretly recorded talking about how she wanted Joyce and her five kids to be burnt alive in their home. According to her, she wanted the job done because she was desperate for cash and likely to lose her BMW vehicle to a loan shark she had owed money to.
She noted that her sister’s death would benefit her financially through funeral insurance policies and that the hitmen were to be paid from the insurance payout.
According to Times Live, the hitmen were among a group of 50 state witnesses who testified in the trial and gave details on how Ndlovu had also wanted her mother, Maria Mushwana, and her cousin, Gladys, killed.
The first person she killed was her cousin, Witness Madala Homu, in March 2012. Then her sister, boyfriend, niece and two nephews were all killed. Her last victim reportedly died in January 2018.
According to the BBC, almost all of her victims were killed by hitmen. However, in one instance, she poisoned and strangled her sister Audrey Somisa Ndlovu herself.
Throughout the trial, Ndlovu pleaded not guilty to the charges of murder, attempted murder and conspiracy to murder. But prosecutors produced evidence to show how she had been with her victims and how she benefited after their death.
“The accused was either the last person to see them alive or the first to notice that they were missing,” state advocate Riana Williams told AFP. “She nominated herself as the beneficiary so as to cash in on life and funeral covers.”