Durban: An Indian-origin woman and her
mother were sentenced to three years in prison by a South
African court, which found them guilty of arranging a fake
certificate of marriage to inherit property of their landlord,
who died of poisoning.
According to the prosecution, Pauline Govender and
Samantha Appalsamy (21) allegedly killed their landlord
Munisamy Reddy (60) by putting poison in his fish curry in
August 2008. Later, the duo connived with a pastor and
arranged a fake certificate of marriage between Appalsamy and
the deceased to inherit his property.
Thereafter, they organised a "fake marriage" between
`Reddy` and Appelsamy. Their relative Paul Aaron had posed as
Reddy at the wedding ceremony.
Aaron is serving 20 years in jail after he pleaded
guilty to fraud and murder.
However, the court, earlier this week, acquitted the
duo and Govender`s second husband Navindran of murder charges
after the prosecution failed to prove their role in the
They also faced robbery charges for allegedly stealing
the title deed of the house and taking away 13,000 rands and
other belongings of Reddy after he was dead. The trio were
also acquitted on charges of robbery.
Sentencing the women to three years of imprisonment,
Judge Chiman Patel said they had shown no remorse for their
The Judge said he would have sent them to prison for
five years had they not served two years in jail during the
"This was no ordinary fraud," Patel said.
"This mother and daughter connived at getting at
getting a marriage registered with Reddy in order to inherit
The judge added it was "fortuitous" that they were
acquitted of murder and robbery.