Foster mom accused of stealing from girl, who is feared dead
A Port Elizabeth foster mother who was arrested for allegedly stealing 3-year-old Zenixole Solomon's inheritance payout has now been labelled by detectives as a prime suspect in Zenixole's disappearance after failing a lie-detector test
Foster mother Xoliswa Mashiqana admitted to police last month that she stole about R55,000 from a life insurance policy pay-out, left to Zenixole by her dead mother.
Despite her confession she maintains her innocence in the minor’s mysterious abduction.
But police detectives said that Mashiqana was a prime suspect, as she failed an intense eight hour polygraph test .
The search for Zenixole was launched shortly after her disappearance in August last year when Mashiqana reported to police that she was snatched outside her home in Motherwell while playing in the garden.
Head detective Colonel Jackie Grobler said that Mashiqana agreed to undergo a polygraph test in an attempt to convince detectives she was not involved.
“She underwent a lengthy polygraph test by our police specialists from Gauteng about two weeks ago and we finally got the results back on Monday,” he said.
“The aim of the polygraph test was to collaborate information as there were many conflicting statements. During the test the examiner asked a series of questions relating to [Zenixole’s] disappearance and kidnapping. It materialised that she failed vital questions relating to the child’s whereabouts and if she is still alive.”
Grobler refused to elaborate on the test however stressed that Zenixole’s whereabouts remained a top priority and that several leads had been generated from the test.
“The test results are definitely helpful with the investigation and confirm that we are on the right track,” he said.
“We now have a series of other leads that must be investigated but due to the sensitivity of the case they cannot yet be revealed.”
This comes two months after a breakthrough into the investigation which led to the arrested Mashiqana and Master of the High Court advocate’s Thandile Ngcoza, 39, and Sandile Baya, 33, for fraud.
Mashiqana allegedly paid the both advocates R7,500 each to forge documents making her the beneficiary of a R55,000 life insurance policy left to Zenixole.
Ngcoza and Baya were subsequently released on R500 bail. Two weeks later Mashiqana was released on a R1,000 bail, and after persuasion, agreed to take the test.
Detectives told her that the test would assist with confirming her claims of innocence.
Grobler said that suspicions were raised shortly after Mashiqana’s arrest as a crucial witness came forward and revealed that he lied under Mashiqana’s instruction.
“Her entire story fell apart. This led to a series of unanswered questions that need to be looked at,” he said. “We are now analysing all the information.”
Grobler said that his team were still working around the clock but refused to comment on whether he thought Zenixole was still alive.