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'death clerk' jailed for life

By unknown | Jan 25, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

A brazen King Edward Hospital clerk operating an illegal mortuary, received a stiff sentence in the Durban high court.

The clerk also worked as insurance agent and benefited from a huge insurance payout after murdering one of the beneficiaries.

This week acting Judge Farouk Moosa sentenced Vusimuzi Luthuli, 47, to life imprisonment for the murder of his neighbour, 15 years for attempted murder and 10 years for kidnapping.

Moosa said Luthuli had shown no remorse for what he had done.

Luthuli was arrested last year after he tried to murder Bhekisisa Shandu, 69, from rural Indwedwe.

Luthuli shot Shandu three times in the arm and dumped the injured man on the roadside.

But Shandu managed to walk and seek help from locals. He then reported the matter to the police.

Provincial health MEC Peggy Nkonyeni yesterday welcomed Luthuli's life sentence.

"People who misuse their positions and the health department's property for nefarious activities will be caught."

Luthuli's benefit from the scam totalled more than R1million.

Investigators told the court that Luthuli of Ntuzuma, north of Durban, had been operating the unregistered mortuary and insurance company for years.

He also killed Bhekinkosi Mabaso in cold blood and obtained R20000 from the insurance claim. He also benefited about R50000 from another family when their father - a court clerk - died.

During his operation, Luthuli masqueraded as a police officer by using an emergency blue light on his car. He carried a gun and a brown police file that he used to lure and kidnap his victims.

He also named himself as the sole beneficiary in the insurance claims that he submitted on behalf of his clients.

He also fraudulently profited from several other claims.

Police said further arrests were expected as investigations had continued into other insurance policy payouts.


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