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Suitcase double murder trial nears its end

Published May 3, 2023


Durban — Slindile Pamela Zamisa and her daughter Andile Zamisa have been on trial in the Durban High Court for the alleged kidnapping and murders of Smangele Simamane and her 12-year-old daughter, Sbongakonke Mthembu.

With the defence having no other witness except for the two accused charged with the murders of a Newlands East mother and child, the trial is nearing its end.

Today (on Wednesday) the defence and State are to proceed with arguments on the merits of the case before the court can make a ruling on judgment.

On Tuesday the defence wrapped up its case after having both accused take the stand and lead evidence.

“Nhlanhla Zamisa had been the next defence witness, but I have been informed that he is reluctant to come; therefore I close the defence’s case. He does not want to appear before the court,” said the women’s Legal Aid defence, Zeera Fareed.

Twelve-year-old Sbonga Mthembu was kidnapped and murdered along with her mother, Smangele Simamane, in 2020. Their bodies were stuffed into a suitcase and dumped in KwaDabeka. The trial in the case of their murders is under way in the Durban High Court. Picture: Supplied

Previously, the court had heard evidence of how a relative’s prophecy that Simamane had a hand in the murder of Zamisa’s (Slindile) late husband Bheki Ngcobo fuelled the assault on Simamane.

Further, that following Simamane’s assault she had four kettles of boiling water poured onto her body, was strangled with a rope, and had a shovel pressed against her neck.

This had been while Zamisa (Pamela) had pressed her foot on the neck of little Sbonga, whom she had told to lie on the floor.

Evidence was that this all transpired in the Zamisa home in October 2020.

The court heard that Zamisa, her stepdaughter Nomfundo True Love Ngcobo, Andile, and a teenager partook in the assault.

The bodies were discovered stuffed into a big suitcase on Lwandle Drive in KwaDabeka.

Zamisa on the stand said that they had moved from Newlands East seeking traditional help for a teenager who battled with ancestral issues.

This was while Andile on Tuesday on the stand said that they moved after they were told by police that their house was a crime scene and they could not stay there.

Both women deny any part in the murder.

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