Durban — Previously, a nurse who stands accused of kidnapping and murdering her husband told the Durban High Court that days before his disappearance she had arrived home from work to find he had locked the remote-operated gate to their home, preventing her entry.
Nomphumelelo Patricia Goncalves had told this to the court while leading evidence. However, on Wednesday while being cross-examined by senior State prosecutor advocate Krishen Shah, she said that she had been out running errands when she returned home to find the gate locked.
She is on trial, along with her brother, Nkosinathi Steve Zungu, for the murder of her husband, Nkosi Timmy Langa, a Transnet engineer who was killed on September 29, 2020.
Goncalves, who had been working at Isipingo Hospital at the time of Langa’s murder, in her evidence-in-chief had said that on September 27, she had gone to work to prepare for an upcoming audit by the Department of Health.
She had said that on that day, they had had a small quarrel and Langa became angry, adding that when she arrived back home she found the gate locked.
Goncalves said after finally reaching Langa on the phone, he told her to go back to where she had come from.
She said she then phoned Zungu for assistance after having gone to a police station.
She said Zungu spent the night at their home and the following day he left, when she also made her way to work.
Goncalves, in her evidence-in-chief, had not told the court how that morning they had been to the Pinetown police station, where she opened a case against Langa and he opened a counter-charge.
This was revealed during her cross-examination by Shah, who said that he had found this information while trying to find cases of abuse that she had claimed to have reported over the years.
She had laid a charge of assault against Langa while he had lain a charge of common assault and intimidation. Langa’s statement in this regard told of how he had discovered that she was flirting with a man on another phone he did not know about.
Goncalves conceded under cross-examination that they had indeed gone to the police station on the morning of September 28 and came back to the house together and discussed things.
“No, it was on the 27th, not the 28th. It all happened on the same day we went to the police station on that morning, then we went back home and spoke. Later on the same day, I went to run some errands when I came from where I had been it was at that time I found the gate locked, the deceased was no longer home and no longer available on the phone.
“It was from there that I went to the police station to regain entrance to the home,” she said.
Goncalves estimated that this had been between 7pm and 8pm, adding that when she came from the police station she had phoned Zungu to come and assist her. She claimed that he jumped over the barbed wire gate to gain entry to the property.
Shah indicated that he found it improbable that Zungu was able to find public transport at such a late hour on a Sunday.
Goncalves could not comment when Shah asked her if she had been shocked when Zungu, while under cross-examination, categorically denied coming to her house at any stage in September.
Goncalves told Shah that she could not comment on someone else’s evidence before the court as it was one’s right to put his evidence in whatever manner.
“Miss Goncalves you surprise me. I’m in utter disbelief with that answer. Your counsel asked you about Mandisa and Ramaphosa’s evidence and you told the court that those were lies,” said Shah.
Goncalves is alleged to have hired Zungu, along with James Mashudu “Ramaphosa” Mthimkhulu, to carry out Langa’s murder.
Mthimkhulu was a State witness in the matter and is already serving time for his part in it.
Mandisa Ngidi is another State witness who claims to have been in the nurse’s car when the plot to kill Langa was discussed.
The trial was adjourned to resume in December.
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