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Witness says woman ‘wanted her husband to be killed’ before their divorce was finalised in 5 days

Published May 24, 2022

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Durban - The Durban High Court heard on Monday how a 28-year-old woman allegedly hired her brother and two others to kidnap and kill her husband.

James Mashudu “Ramaphosa” Mthimkhulu, in his prison uniform, was unshackled at his ankles before entering the witness stand, where he told the court that the wife of Nkosi Timmy Langa had said she wanted him killed before their divorce was finalised, which was in five days.

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“I want him to be killed within these five days.”

These were the words that Mthimkhulu said were used by Nomphumelelo Patricia Goncalves.

Goncalves and her brother Nkosinathi Steve Zungu, 37, both face kidnapping, robbery with aggravated circumstances and murder charges, while Goncalves also faces two counts of defeating the course of justice.

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It is alleged that on September 29, 2020, near Hampshire Place in Pinetown, the accused acted with others and unlawfully and intentionally deprived Langa of his freedom of movement by keeping him captive in his vehicle and driving off with him.

It is alleged that force and violence were used to induce Langa into submission and his Isuzu X-Rider and cellphone were taken from him and various amounts of cash were withdrawn from his bank account at ATMs.

It is further alleged that on or about September 30, 2020, at or near the Ozwathini area, the accused acted with others and murdered Langa.

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On or about September 30 and October 1, it is alleged that Goncalves unlawfully and with the intent to defeat or obstruct the course of justice, registered a false case of a missing person. It is also alleged that on or about November 10, 2020, Goncalves registered a false case of theft of a motor vehicle, which defeated or obstructed the course of justice.

Mthimkhulu told the court that Goncalves had pleaded with him to do this “job” for her as she had previously allegedly hired and paid her brother and his friend to carry it out; however it was not done.

He led the court through the events leading up to the day that he, Zungu and another person allegedly entered the couple’s home through the main gate that had allegedly been left unlocked for them to gain entry.

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On September 28, Mthimkhulu said he met Goncalves, who had driven to where he lived in Springfield on Temple Road after Zungu had allegedly told him that he had a job that his sister wanted done, adding that the reason she allegedly wanted her husband killed was because she had been physically abused to an extent that she was hospitalised.

“I asked how much she will pay and she said R15 000. When I complained that this was a small amount since she allegedly wanted him killed, she said the R15 000 was not for him to kill him but for him to just assist Nathi (Zungu),” said Mthimkhulu, who claimed that he was also offered Langa’s car as well, which he refused.

In his testimony, Mthimkhulu told the court that even when he allegedly had the initial discussion about doing the job with Zungu, the car was also offered as payment; however, he refused it as he felt it would be difficult to sell it as it was an expensive vehicle.

He told the court how on the day of the “job” Goncalves allegedly fetched him, Zungu and another person from Durban where they had been drinking and waiting for her, and she allegedly drove with them to Pinetown and dropped them off near her home where they were to wait for her SMS telling them to come to the house.

Goncalves also allegedly told the men that she would leave the gate unlocked and ensure her husband was in their daughter’s bedroom, where he could not reach the panic button and his car keys in the living room.

Mthimkhulu, who sentenced to 20 years for the murder and kidnapping, continues with his testimony on Tuesday.

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