After not finding Ndlovu at her home in Thembisa, Mabunda was worried. He went searching for Gladys.
“Her husband finally answered the phone and said they were fine, but he was not willing to disclose where they were. He said she wouldn’t come to court,” Mabunda said.
Gladys had allegedly been on Ndlovu’s hit list of relatives she allegedly wanted to kill so she could cash in life or funeral policies she had taken in their names.
Six of Ndlovu’s relatives - including her sister, nieces and nephews, her cousin and her boyfriend - were alleged to have fallen victim to her over a six-year period. Evidence provided by the insurance companies showed that she had bagged about R1.4m in policies paid out for the six.
They died in various ways from 2012 to 2018.
Her cousin, Witness Madala Homu, was found dead with head injuries in March 2012. He had finished work, but never made it home.
Ndlovu’s sister, Audrey, was found poisoned and strangled to death in her rented room in Thembisa in June 2013, while her boyfriend, Yingwani Maurice Mabasa, died in October 2015 after being stabbed more than 80 times. His body was dumped near the Olifantsfontein police station.
Ndlovu’s niece, Zanele Motha, died in June 2016 after claims she had been attacked on the streets of Kempton Park. At the time Motha had travelled to her home and had been invited by Ndlovu to visit her house for a few weeks.
Ndlovu’s nephew, Mayeni Mashaba, died in April 2017, on the same day he had arranged to meet Ndlovu in Daveyton, Ekurhuleni. His body was found dumped near Olifantsfontein. He had sustained major head injuries.
The last of Ndlovu’s alleged victims was her nephew, Brilliant Mashego, who was Audrey’s son. He died in January 2018 after allegedly meeting Ndlovu in Mbombela. His body was dumped at a marketplace in Bushbuckridge.
During testimony, the court heard about the plot to kill Gladys. How Ndlovu had allegedly hired two men, Njabulo Kunene and Lakhiwe Mkhize, to commit the murder. In December 2017 they allegedly took a drive with Ndlovu to Pholoshong, where she pointed out Gladys’s house.
Ndlovu was alleged to have given the men R800 for petrol and promised them R15,000 after the job was done.
But they never carried out the plot and instead avoided Ndlovu. However, she later approached them separately, allegedly tasking the one to kill her elderly mother, Maria Mushwana, and the other to kill her sister, Joyce, and her five children. Maria and Joyce live in New Forest in Bushbuckridge, just a few homesteads from each other.
Instead of carrying out the hits, which would have seen Joyce and her five children dead - the youngest who was just five months old at the time - Kunene turned to the police and a sting operation was set up, which resulted in Ndlovu being nabbed in March 2018.
A total of 51 state witnesses have been named in the case, ranging from the alleged hitmen to the different companies Ndlovu had used to insure her victims, and cellphone experts who testified that she was in the vicinity when the crimes were committed.