A DISPUTE has erupted between the family of a deceased Pumula man and a Sizinda woman over his estate after she claimed to be the sole surviving spouse and allegedly acquired a certificate of authority for the estate fraudulently.
The deceased man’s son Ndumiso Dube said his father Leonard Dube died in an accident at Nyozani Bridge along Fort Rixon Road in 2012. He said his father was legally married to his mother Mable Ndlela on November 5 1977 and she was the only spouse the family knew.
But somehow, Lucy Ncube of Sizinda obtained a certificate of authority over Dube’s estate.
“After the death of my father, we registered the estate at the High Court as a family and Ncube, who claims to be my father’s spouse was not even there,” said Ndumiso.
“The Deputy Master of the High Court conducted a meeting with the whole family and this Ncube woman was not there but to our surprise she claims to be my father’ second wife. As a family we do not know her.”
Ndumiso alleged that Ncube went to the Bulawayo Magistrates’ Court at Tredgold Building and registered the estate pretending to be Mable Dube.
Ncube managed to obtain a certificate of authority over Dube’s estate.
“To our surprise, the inventory does not have two witnesses as it is supposed to for authenticity of the certificate. This means that the process was done by Ncube with the help of someone.
“We were also surprised that the assistant master of the High Court identified in the certificate of authority as G Ruvetsa approved the inventory without holding a meeting with the family. When we asked, a magistrate was also surprised that the certificate of authority was not yet registered,” said Ndumiso.
A certificate of authority under Ncube’s name, file number DRBY 590/12 and signed by Ruvetsa on October 24, 2012 authorises her to administer and distribute Dube’s estate, which includes pension benefits and shares from First Transfer Secretaries. Ndumiso said they waited for six months and discovered that the inventory had been written but the certificate of authority had been processed even before the inventory was available showing that the process was fraudulent.
“When we asked the clerk of court, he told us that the process was done through affidavits from one Tshengisiwe Moyo who acted as cousin of our father but we do not know her,” said Ndumiso.
“When we located and asked Tshengisiwe why she submitted fraudulent affidavits, she confessed that she was lured by Ncube and was paid for her service.”
An inventory shown to Southern Eye bears the name of the deceased and his legally married wife Mable Dube as the surviving spouse.
The inventory was signed on October 12, 2012 by Ncube as Dube’s widow yet it clearly written “I Mable Dube hereby certify that the foregoing is true” but it was signed by Ncube.
Ncube took the certificate of authority to the Posts and Telecommunication Pensions Fund to obtain Dube’s pension, but she was unsuccessful after TelOne wrote a letter to Mable asking her to confirm whether Ncube was Dube’s second wife after she had submitted a customary marriage certificate.
Ncube, however, took the bogus certificate of authority to ZB Bank and withdrew $800 from Dube’s account. Ndumiso said when the family asked the High Cour about Ruvetsa’s involvement, they were told he had been transferred to Plumtree.
Ndumiso said the family had established that Ncube had since applied to be declared a surviving spouse of the deceased.
“After she failed to acquire the estate, Ncube made an application at the registrar’s office to be declared as a surviving spouse and the matter would be heard in court soon,” he said.
Ndumiso said they reported Ncube to the police last month.