Durban — The mother-in-law of a slain Newlands West mom could not contain her emotions and wailed in the courtroom gallery as Sthembiso Nicholas Lamula described how he could see Smangele Simamane’s legs sticking out of the suitcase she had been stuffed into.
Nomkhosi Simamane was escorted out of the courtroom by her sister. Her cries could still be heard as she wept uncontrollably while Lamula proceeded with his testimony in the Durban High Court.
Lamula, now a State witness in the trial against mother and daughter, Slindile Pamela Zamisa and Andile Zamisa, is serving six years on two counts of accessory to the offence of murder after the fact. He was Zamisa’s lover and the two had been in a relationship for three years.
The Zamisas are charged with the 2020 kidnapping and murder of mother and daughter Smangele Simamane and Sbongakonke Mthembu, 12.
“I did not see inside the suitcase but I could see the legs. They appeared to be that of the lady I had seen in the house sitting on the sofa earlier. We put the suitcase in the car. On the side, there is a garage. The child was there wrapped in a blanket. That was the child I had seen inside the kitchen,” Lamula said.
Andile Zamisa and Nomfundo Truelove Ngcobo put the child in the boot of his car, Lamula testified.
Ngcobo is also behind bars having been handed 20 years in jail for her role in the murders.
Lamula said he had been called to come urgently to the Zamisa home in Newlands West. He had seen Smangele and Sbongakonke alive in the house. There was an argument going on with Zamisa and her daughters accusing Smangele of having had a hand in the death of Nomfundo’s father, he said.
Lamula said he left the house, but Zamisa phoned him asking him to return and telling him that they had killed the woman and child in the house. When he arrived at the house, he said, Zamisa had told him to reverse his car in towards the gate. Lamula said he noticed a fire outside the gate.
Once he got out of the car he saw a “big suitcase”. At first he had refused to help Zamisa get the suitcase into his car. “She begged me to assist. When I refused she said I was a useless man and when the police come she will tell them I am the one who killed these people since I was there.”
Lamula, of KwaMashu, said the car was used to transport the two bodies to be dumped in KwaDabeka the next day. After that Ngcobo, two children and a teenager fled Newlands West and lived in Inanda first, then Molweni.
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