Durban — The Durban High Court has heard that a nurse on trial for the alleged kidnapping and murder of her husband could have possibly used a jamming device on her car tracker the day after the killing to conceal her movements.
Nomphumelelo Patricia Goncalves, who is out on bail, is alleged to have hired Nkosinathi Steven Zungu – who remains behind bars – to kidnap her husband, Nkosi Timmy Langa, from their Pinetown home and kill him.
The nurse and her brother are on trial for murder and robbery. Goncalves faces two more charges of defeating the course of justice for allegedly falsely reporting her husband missing and the theft of his car.
A previous State witness and the alleged hitman, James Mashudu “Ramaphosa” Mthimkhulu, had earlier testified that an electric cord cut from an iron in his home was put around Langa’s neck, which Zungu pulled on one end and Mthimkhulu on the other. The victim’s body was left in a forest in Ozwathini.
Mthimkhulu also previously testified that Langa had seen the men inside his home and had tried to close the door of the bedroom he was in, but the men had broken it open. The next day Goncalves allegedly went to Langa’s friend at his car wash (apparently) worried about his whereabouts, and then to the KwaNdengezi home of the Langa family to report the matter.
In court on Tuesday, senior State prosecutor advocate Krishen Shah recalled witness Pieter Andries Oosthuizen of Tracker, who earlier testified in respect of a tracker report that he had compiled and furnished to the court.
Shah drew Oosthuizen’s attention to a page in the report where the movements of Goncalves’ car after she left her home, were detailed.
“At 3.20pm the Golf leaves Mpangele Road and proceed on to the M1. She goes off the M1 at 3.29pm; she moves from the M1 to Esser Place and then at 3.30pm she's on Rudolph Road. What interests me is that at 3.30pm she’s driving on Rudolph Road. Next is the entry at 5.33pm … How is it that this vehicle jumped time for two hours? It doesn't show that it stopped or the engine was off.”
Oosthuizen replied: “This occurs when there’s a jamming device. You will notice the GP co-ordinators change, this is indicative of a jamming device in the car. If the tracking device had lost signal it would indicate GPS unlock and GPS lock. The car moved for 12km while under the use of a jamming device. It picked up movement but no co-ordinates which indicates the presence of a jamming device.”
It suspected that Goncalves went to a hardware shop in the Pinetown CBD for supplies to repair what was broken the night before.
Under cross-examination by Goncalves’ counsel GS Zwane, Oosthuizen said the device could have been inside the vehicle or in the vicinity.
“It depends on the device being used, others need to be 1m, 4m or even 10 m away.”
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