The gogo knew that one day she’d die and so had to save enough money for her funeral.
While still employed, she’d buy fancy handbags and stash cash inside. She then stored the handbags in the wall unit in her house. After retiring, she saved her pension grant inside the bags.
Gogo Martha Msiza (62) from Msholozi Village near KwaMhlanga died on 12 April, and has left behind a fortune stashed inside her 22 fancy handbags.
Ward 4 committee member Nonhlanhla Nthala (50) said they stumbled on the handbags while looking for her documents.
“I was busy looking for her documents when I came across a new handbag. I opened it, only to find R500 inside,” she said.
“I told the other woman who was helping me. The handbags had different amounts inside, from R200 to R7 000.
“I continued looking and came across more handbags full of money. They still had price tags on them. We took the money to the police station, where we counted it with the cops.
“We found that she had saved up R43 000 in the house. We were all shocked. I think she saved the money for her funeral.”
Nonhlanhla said no one knew the gogo’s family. She became ill, was admitted in hospital, and died at an old age home. She said it appeared the gogo had lived a lavish lifestyle.
“No one has come forward to claim her body at the mortuary. She never told anyone about her origins. We plead to anyone who recognises her to help us.”
Nonhlanhla told Daily Sun cops placed the money inside a plastic bag and sent it to court.
“I was told the court ordered that a bank account be opened and the money saved.
“She’s going to be buried by the state. As neighbours, we think she saved the money for that because she knew that when she died, someone would find it.
“When you enter her house, you could see that she had style. Her shoes, clothes and handbags were all fancy.”
She said they submitted her ID to Home Affairs so her origins could be traced, but people who lived at the address that appeared in the system didn’t know her.
The gogo’s garden helper, Joseph Mathonsi, told the sun team she never said anything about her relatives.
“Gogo would call me for garden services, and once I was done she’d pay immediately. I thought she was paying me with her grant money.
“I didn’t know there was cash inside the house. When she became ill I alerted the ward committee member and she was sent to hospital.”