Fraudster 'nyatsi' exposed - DNA test rules out child from dead man's estate

A nyatsi accused of defrauding a pension fund has been caught out after it was proven that her child was not fathered by the fund member.

The 33-year-old nyatsi (mistress) had claimed that she was married to Sipho Khoza, 57.

She said that publicly before the Matsamo Tribal Authority in Mpumalanga in August 2013.

The woman, who cannot be named to protect her daughter, submitted a fraudulently acquired customary marriage certificate to the fund, resulting in the approval of her claim and R124295 was paid out to her.

The Mineworkers Provident Fund also allocated the same amount for her five-year-old daughter.

The fund has now conceded it erred when it approved the payout without a paternity test. The deceased's son, Nicholas Khoza, 29, of Kaqekeza in Naas, also in Mpumalanga, had contested the claim that his father had an illegitimate child.

He said his father died in 2013 after working for about 18 years for Xstrata coal mines.

He said before his father's death he had told his entire family, including his sisters and brothers, what employment benefits he was entitled to and who to contact should he die before he retired.

But a month after his death, they got a nasty surprise when the human resources personnel told them there was a woman who claimed to be married to him.

Nicholas said the woman claimed she was in a polygamous relationship with Khoza, and that they had a five-year-old daughter .

On further investigation, Nicholas discovered that his little "half-sister" had a loving father who was supporting her. The biological father, whose name is known to Sowetan, offered to do a biological test to prove the child was his when the newspaper asked him.

The DNA test's results last month proved the man had fathered the child, and not Khoza.

Mineworkers Provident Fund chief operations officer Lihle Khoza (unrelated) said they were probing if they had erred by paying the nyatsi. The amount that was allocated to the child has since been paid to Khoza's first wife, Thembi Khoza.

Thembi said she was relieved that the paternity test had proved that the nyatsi was lying.

"I want the provident fund to refund the money they have paid ... [the woman]. She was not entitled to it in the first place," she said.

The family said they would lay charges with police if the fund did not refund them.

Moses Mathebula, chairman of Matsamo Traditional Council,said they believed Khoza's marriage to the second wife was lawful and issued the certificate to ensure the little girl was not excluded from Khoza's pension fund.

Mistresses cash in on lovers' death benefits

This is not a unique case as Sowetan over the years has investigated similar cases of women wanting to claim from pension funds without proof that they were married to deceased fund members.

- Fortunate Moyo, 45, battled to claim payment of her late husband's provident fund because a girlfriend had also lodged a claim, alleging to be the wife of her late husband Ronald Moyo, who died in September 2014.

The girlfriend said she had a five-month-old child with the late Moyo, and was willing to have a paternity test done but had no money to fund it. Though funding was arranged, she never showed up with the child. Fortunate was later paid a portion of the death payout.

- Sibonisiwe Mashego, 59, who had to wait five years for her pension payout, was recently paid after Sowetan's intervention.

A portion of the payout was withheld pending proof of polygamous marriage and paternity tests as the other woman claimed she had two children fathered by her late husband .

 - Kediboni Mlangeni, 52, discovered after her husband's death that he had a relationship and a child outside their marriage.

The woman also claimed that she was the only wife.

Trustees paid her R146494 and her child R73247 on January 14 despite an objection from Mlangeni.

It later transpired that the late husband had nominated them as his dependants and beneficiaries.

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