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Compiled by Asanda Mbayimbayi

Final episode of ‘Rosemary’s Hitlist’ documentary now available on Showmax

The documentary 'Rosemary's Hitlist' has been met with great acclaim, with reviewers praising the series.

Rosemary’s Hitlist documentary has achieved remarkable success, surpassing true-crime hits like Devilsdorp and Steinheist by setting a new record for the highest number of views on its first day of release on Showmax.

This true-crime documentary series called Rosemary’s Hitlist explores the chilling story of Nomia Rosemary Ndlovu, a former police officer who became a serial killer.

The reception to Rosemary’s Hitlist has been positive, with reviewers praising the series.

IOL described it as a bone-chilling true-crime documentary that will send shivers down your spine. The South African remarked that the four-part series left viewers in awe and astonishment.

Cape Talk labeled the Showmax Original as an exceptionally gripping crime story, easily on par with the acclaimed series Devilsdorp.

Picture: Supplied
Picture: Supplied

Shocking revelations and further investigations unveiled

In 2021, Ndlovu received a sentence of six consecutive life terms for the murders of six family members, including her sister and the father of her only living child at the time.

It is alleged that these murders were committed in order to claim funeral insurance payouts totaling over R1.4 million.

Ndlovu also received an additional 30-year sentence, with 10 years for fraud, incitement to commit murder, and the attempted murder of her mother, Maria Mushwana, her sister Joyce, and Joyce’s five children.

The shocking finale of the series reveals that Ndlovu had taken out 28 additional funeral insurance policies, including ones for her mother and her brother.

The episode also uncovers that Sergeant Keshi Mabunda was investigating Ndlovu in connection with the alleged murder of her first child, Jaunty Khoza, who died under suspicious circumstances in 2008 at the age of 13.

Ndlovu was the sole remaining beneficiary of his father, Hand Khoza, her deceased first husband, which resulted in her receiving a payout of over R12 000.

“I was supposed to go back to the grave and dig him up and do the exhumation but looking at how she was sentenced, I said, ‘Okay, it’s fine’.

“I was thinking about the family. To go and dig up their child again, I thought it was not going to sit well with the family,” said Mabunda in the fourth and final episode.

Sergeant Keshi Mabunda. Picture: Supplied
Sergeant Keshi Mabunda. Picture: Supplied

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Charges Ndlovu faces

Ndlovu is now facing additional charges of two counts of attempted murder for allegedly plotting to kill Mabundla and Colonel Nthipe L Boloka, her station commander at Tembisa South police station. She allegedly plotted this while already in prison. Ndlovu pleaded not guilty to the charges.

In February 2023, Ndlovu found herself back in court. This time, she and her co-accused, Nomsa Mudau, a former police officer, both pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiring to murder Mudau’s ex-husband, Justice.

Both trials are currently ongoing, and the legal proceedings continue.

Sergant Lungisani Ntombela. Picture: Supplied
Sergant Lungisani Ntombela. Picture: Supplied

Concerns and calls for reform in insurance industry

Insurance consultant Edward Siweya predicts that Ndlovu’s case might not be the only instance of “killsurance” that we come across in the future.

““So far I have not seen any movement towards closing the loophole, we need reform.

“My view is that in the event that there is a lack of reform we might as well expect another case in the near future and more lives will be lost as a result,” said Siweya in the finale.

According to the Association for Savings and Investment South Africa (ASISA), as indicated in the conclusion of Rosemary’s Hitlist, there were approximately 5.8 million funeral insurance policies in South Africa by December 2022.

“By December 2022, there were some 5.8 million funeral insurance policies in South Africa. The forensic departments of these companies reported a total of four cases where the policy beneficiary was involved in the policy holder’s death.

“There is now a greater drive by the industry to partner with law enforcement agencies and regulators to ensure that criminals are brought to book,” read a statement.

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Advocate Riana Williams. Picture: Supplied
Advocate Riana Williams. Picture: Supplied

Official podcast of Rosemary’s Hitlist

Rosemary’s Hitlist is a production by IdeaCandy, the same company that brought us the SAFTA-winning true-crime sensation Devilsdorp.

The series is directed by Valen’tino Mathibela, known for his work on the first season of The Real Housewives of Durban and Lebo M – Coming Home.

Consulting director Richard Gregory, a SAFTA winner for Steinheist, also lends his expertise to the project.

Created in collaboration with True Crime South Africa, a popular true-crime podcast consistently topping the charts in the country, the podcast offers further insights and discussions related to the series.

Joy Ndlovu. Picture: Supplied
Joy Ndlovu. Picture: Supplied

According to Nicole Engelbrecht, the co-host of the podcast and founder of True Crime South Africa, as well as the author of Samurai Sword Murder: The Morné Harmse Story, Rosemary’s crimes rank among the most atrocious she has ever encountered.

“Of the hundreds of South African crime cases I have researched and covered, I honestly feel like Rosemary’s crimes are some of the most heinous I’ve seen.

“No matter how many episodes you get of a documentary of this calibre, you are left wanting more and with unanswered questions,” said Nicole.

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