Momentum widow waiting for answers on husband's murder

21 November 2018 - 15:24 By SUTHENTIRA GOVENDER
Widow Denise Ganas says 'It’s been months now [without] even one call from the police.' Her husband was killed in a hijacking in March last year.
Widow Denise Ganas says 'It’s been months now [without] even one call from the police.' Her husband was killed in a hijacking in March last year.
Image: Facebook

While her battle with Momentum over a R2.4m life insurance claim may be over, Durban widow Denise Ganas remains in the dark about where the police investigation into her husband’s murder stands.

"It’s been months since I last heard from the police. Getting justice is the most important thing to me and my children," Ganas told TimesLIVE on Wednesday.

Her plight touched thousands of South Africans after it was reported that Momentum had initially refused to pay out the R2.4m life cover claim after Nathan Ganas was shot dead in a hijacking outside his Durban home in March last year.

Momentum said that Ganas had not disclosed his high blood-sugar levels at the time of signing the contract in 2014 and the claim was therefore repudiated. 

After Denise contested the insurer's decision, Momentum said it would refund all of the premiums Ganas had paid and would retract its demand for the return of the R50,000 it had paid Denise to cover funeral expenses.

The decision sparked a backlash on social media, with many threatening to cancel their policies with the insurer.

Momentum did an about-turn on Tuesday, announcing that it would pay out the full R2.4m. The insurer said it would amend its policies to pay out death benefits in the case of a violent crime, irrespective of the medical history of the insured person. The new solution will apply to all existing and future Momentum clients.

Now the grieving widow says all she wants now is justice.

Ganas, who received her husband's postmortem results only in June - more than a year after his death - said she was in the dark about the status of the police investigation.

"It’s been months now [without] even one call from the police. After all of this I am totally overwhelmed. I think I would be a 110% better if this investigation was sorted out. We need justice and we need closure,” she said.

Francois Beukman, chairman of the parliamentary portfolio committee on police, called on the police "to ensure that investigating officers provide adequate feedback to families of those who died as a result of criminality".

Beukman noted that Ganas had "raised serious concern with regard to the lack of feedback ... and the lack of progress with the investigation".

KZN police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele said a case of murder was opened at the Chatsworth police station.

"Police conducted intensive investigations from the inception of the crime being committed. The neighbour who was interviewed could not identify the suspects as they were wearing balaclavas."

Mbele said investigations were continuing.