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Family express disgust and hurt over how mom and her child were tortured and killed

Twelve-year-old Sbongakonke Mthembu was kidnapped and killed along with her mother Smangele Simamane in 2020 and their bodies were stuffed into a suitcase and dumped in KwaDabeka. The trial into their murders wrapped up last week in the Durban High Court and judgement is expected today. Supplied

Twelve-year-old Sbongakonke Mthembu was kidnapped and killed along with her mother Smangele Simamane in 2020 and their bodies were stuffed into a suitcase and dumped in KwaDabeka. The trial into their murders wrapped up last week in the Durban High Court and judgement is expected today. Supplied

Published May 9, 2023

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Durban — The family of a slain Newlands East mom and child Smangele Simamane and Sbongakonke Mthembu have expressed disgust and hurt at the evidence led in the trial detailing how the two were tortured and killed.

Today (Tuesday), Slindile Pamela Zamisa and her daughter Andile Zamisa who were charged with the 2020 kidnapping and murders will know their fate in the Durban High Court.

“I was disgusted to hear how my sister and niece were killed, I’m glad the law has run its course and there were arrests.

“I’m disgusted that it’s all women who are accused of the murders; that other women could do this to another woman and child,” Simamane’s brother Siza Mthembu said on Monday.

The bodies of Simamane and her daughter were found by a passer-by stuffed into a suitcase and dumped on Lwandle Drive in KwaDabeka.

Nomfundo True Love Ngcobo and Sthembiso Nicholas Lamula were convicted and sentenced in 2021 for their part in the murders and disposal of the bodies.

Ngcobo who is Slindile Zamisa’s stepdaughter is serving 20 years while Lamula who was Slindile Zamisa’s lover is serving six years for helping dump the bodies.

Smangele Simamane was kidnapped and killed along with her daughter, 12-year-old Sbongakonke Mthembu, in 2020 and their bodies were stuffed into a suitcase and dumped in KwaDabeka. The trial into their murders wrapped up last week in the Durban High Court and judgement is expected today. Supplied

During the trial, the court heard that Sbongakonke had arrived at the Zamisa home on the day of the alleged murders asking that the teen accompany her to the tuckshop; the two children had been told to no longer be friends as there was always trouble when they were together.

(Slindile) Zamisa sent Andile and Ngcobo to fetch Sbongakonke’s mother to discuss why her child was at their home.

Once inside the house Simamane was attacked and accused of having a hand in the murder of Bheki Ngcobo, who was Slindile Zamisa’s late husband and Nomfundo’s father. The accusation stemmed from a prophecy by a relative that Simamane had been among those who murdered Bheki.

A teenager who had been present and allegedly took part in Simamane’s assault leading to her murder was expected to enter her guilty plea before Judge Esther Steyn on Wednesday.

Details led in the trial by Nomfundo Ngcobo was that she, Andile, and the teen assaulted Simamane with their hands and a plastic pipe.

Simamane had four kettles of boiling water poured on to her body and was strangled with a rope by Andile and had a shovel pressed against her neck by the teen.

Ngcobo also testified that although she had not seen how Sbongakonke had been killed, (Slindile) Zamisa had told the child to lie on the ground and pressed her foot against her neck.

Simamane’s mother-in-law Nomkhosi Simamane said hearing Ngcobo’s testimony brought her pain.

“I became emotional and cried. What hurts the most is the toddler who lives with me and is now without a mother, she will never know her mother. The month after Smangele’s death my mother died. I had known my mother and I buried her, that is the natural order of things not that a child be left without a mother at such a young age.”

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