Another North West woman accused of orchestrating murders for R320,000 payout
Charmaine Bila, 38, stands accused of orchestrating a plot leading to the deaths of her cousin and father, exploiting insurance claims.
Insurance scheme: North West woman accused in family murders for payouts. Picture: iStock
A North West woman stands accused of masterminding a plot involving the deaths of her cousin, Sandy Maleshane, and her father for insurance claims.
Charmaine Bila, 38, appeared at the Stilfontein Magistrate’s Court in North West on 20 November on two separate charges of murder and one of attempted murder. This appearance followed her initial arrest on 17 November.
On 24 September, Sandy Maleshane, 26, and her 31-year-old partner were allegedly shot inside a home at Khuma Location west of Stilfontein.
“Although he managed to flee and finally rushed to the hospital for medical treatment, his girlfriend was declared dead at the scene after she was allegedly shot by two male suspects,” according to North West police spokesperson Brigadier Sabata Mokgwabone.
Two hitmen allegedly hired
The South African Police Service (Saps) and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) reported that Bila was arrested after a thorough investigation, following claims that she had hired two hitmen to kill Maleshane in order to file an insurance claim.
The investigation also linked Bila to another murder allegedly committed in Klerksdorp a few hours prior. In that case, the police were called to an arson scene where Thys Safatsa’s burnt body was discovered, leading to the initiation of an inquest.
Subsequently, the inquest docket was changed to murder when it was revealed that Safatsa was also allegedly murdered to file an insurance claim.
R320 000 claimed for Bila’s cousin and father
Bila had claimed R320,000 in respect of Maleshane and Safatsa, who were her cousin and father, respectively, according to the Saps and NPA.
Bila appeared again at the Stilfontein Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday and was remanded until 6 December for a formal bail application in connection with her father’s murder.
She also appeared in the Klerksdorp Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday in connection with Maleshane’s alleged murder and was remanded until 7 December.
The investigation into both cases is still ongoing, and the police have urged anyone with information that can assist them to contact the investigating officer, Detective Sergeant Kabelo Kwele, on 079 173 0679.
The North West Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Sello Kwena, and the Director for Public Prosecution, Dr Rachel Makhari, lauded the police, prosecution, and everyone else for the collaborative efforts that led to the breakthrough. They further warned that no stone will be left unturned in ensuring that justice is served.
Recently, a woman was arrested on suspicion that she murdered her relatives to benefit from insurance claims.
Agnes Setshwantsho made her second court appearance at Molopo Magistrate’s Court on 24 November facing a charge of murder, two counts of fraud, and one of defeating the ends of justice.
The 49-year-old woman was traced to and arrested in Centurion during a takedown operation led by the SAPS in collaboration with an insurance company.