Durban — Just days leading up to the alleged kidnapping and murder of a Pinetown husband by men allegedly hired by his wife, he had locked the gate of the house they shared preventing her from entering for two consecutive days.
This was the testimony of accused Nomphumelelo Patricia Goncalves, who testified on Wednesday in the Durban High Court. She is on trial along with her brother Nkosinathi Steve Zungu for the 2020 murder of her husband, Nkosi Timmy Langa, who was killed on September 29.
Zungu and Goncalves both face charges of kidnapping and robbery with aggravated circumstances, as well as murder charges, while Goncalves also faces two counts of defeating the course of justice.
Goncalves, who worked at Isipingo Hospital as a nurse, is alleged to have hired Zungu and James Mashudu “Ramaphosa” Mthimkhulu to carry out the murder of Langa, who was a Transnet engineer.
While on the stand she told the court that Langa was abusive when he got angry during arguments and that she had ended up in the hospital on two occasions after being assaulted by him during their nine-year relationship.
“There’s an incident that occurred in 2011 while I was still at university doing my first year, during this incident I sustained injuries and I was admitted to hospital. At that stage his family as well as mine were aware of this. As time went on while we were still in university, there were occasions that he’d do it again. Even after the completion of our qualifications when we were working that continued to happen,” she said.
Goncalves said that over the years she did report the assaults to police on several occasions, and there were some instances where she had gone to court to apply for protection orders.
“In April 2020, we had an argument and he hit me, he picked me up from the bed and slammed me into the floor, and then he took the child and left. After that, I called the ambulance using the SOS function on my iPhone, which indeed came. It took me to the hospital. Once there they asked me what happened and I explained to them. I think when the ambulance came to fetch me he saw it. He then followed the ambulance. I was then admitted and he arrived the next day to visit me at the hospital and asked me not open a case against him.”
She said that following this the two families met and Langa apologised and paid damages in the form of a cow, and asked that she come back to their home.
“On September 27, we a had small quarrel and he got angry as usual. At our house, we had one remote for the gate. That’s when upon my arrival I found the gate locked after having left to prepare for an audit at work.”
Goncalves said that after finally reaching Langa on the phone, he told her to “go back to where I was coming from”. She said she then phoned Zungu for assistance after having gone to the police station. She said Zungu spent the night at their home, and the following day he left when she made her way to work.
Goncalves said that at some point after knocking off work while making her way to meet Zungu, who wanted help with money, she received a phone call from Langa.
“He informed me that since we had broken inside the gate he had now locked it.”
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