A policewoman worked with a hitman to murder her boyfriend and five relatives in a blood-curdling scheme to pocket insurance claims, a South African court ruled Friday.
Gruesome details revealed during the trial of Rosemary Ndlovu, 46, captivated even a nation numbed by its staggering murder rate.
She systematically signed up relatives for life and funeral insurance, then organised the killings of her cousin, sister, boyfriend, niece, nephew, and another relative between 2012 and 2017, the court found.
“Ndlovu perpetrated these crimes as there were similar patterns and facts relating to the deaths of all the deceased,” the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said in a statement.
Ndlovu cashed in on an estimated 1.4 million rand ($95,000, 81,000 euros) from her bloody deeds, and was arrested before she could complete plots against her mother and another sibling, they said.
With chilling foreplanning, Ndlovu mostly hired hitmen to ambush her victims and either shoot or bludgeon them to death, the court found.
But she personally took care of her sister, poisoning her tea and then strangling her when that failed to work.
“The accused was either the last person to see them alive or the first to notice that they were missing,” state advocate Riana Williams said.
“She nominated herself as the beneficiary so as to cash in on life and funeral covers,” she added.
Ndlovu had vehemently denied wrongdoing throughout the trial.
She was caught red-handed in 2018 when one of her hitmen tipped off the police after she hatched a plan to burn down the house of another sister.
The woman and her five children would have been charred to death in their sleep.
Once a respected cop, Ndlovu barely showed any sign of emotion in court. She was always dolled up for hearings and often changed hairstyle, inspiring jokey reactions among puzzled Twitter users.
Her sentence is set to be announced at the start of next month.