In a shocking trial that has gripped the nation, a Pinetown woman and her brother are currently facing charges of kidnapping, murder, and robbery with aggravated circumstances. Nomphumelelo Patricia Goncalves and her brother, Nkosinathi Steve Zungu, are on trial for the alleged abduction and killing of Goncalves’ husband.
The trial has revealed chilling details of how Goncalves opened a missing person’s case for her husband and registered his stolen car with the police. According to her testimony, Goncalves took these steps in a desperate attempt to gather information about her husband’s whereabouts.
It all began on September 29, 2020, when Langa, Goncalves’ husband, was allegedly forced into his Isuzu X-Rider at their home near Hampshire Place in Pinetown. He was then taken to a forest in Ozwathini, where he met a gruesome fate at the hands of Zungu and another accomplice, James Mashudu Mthimkhulu.
Mthimkhulu, who is already serving time for his involvement in the crime, provided chilling evidence during the trial. He claimed that Langa was killed using an electric cord cut from an iron in his own home. The cord was placed around Langa’s neck, with Zungu and Mthimkhulu pulling from either end, resulting in his death.
It was only in November, after Mthimkhulu led authorities to the forest, that Langa’s body was discovered. The shocking details of the crime have left the nation in disbelief.
Goncalves took the stand on Friday and explained her actions leading up to the trial. She revealed that she had opened the missing person’s case in an attempt to obtain information from her husband’s car tracker company. Faced with the company’s policy of only divulging information to individuals with a case number, Goncalves saw no other option but to register a missing person’s case.
Desperate to find her husband, Goncalves informed the Langa family about the situation and the requirement for a case number from the car tracker company. The stress and worry over her husband’s disappearance took a toll on Goncalves’ health, resulting in her admission to Westville Hospital to lower her spiked blood sugar levels.
Throughout her hospital stay, Goncalves remained in contact with the police officer assigned to the case. She later received the case number and immediately informed both the car tracker company and the Langa family. The car tracker company revealed that the last known coordinates of the stolen car were on the N2, providing some insight into the direction of travel.
As the police investigation progressed, Goncalves continued to cooperate with the authorities. She recalled a crucial moment when the investigating officer informed her that the stolen car had been found. In a subsequent meeting, the officer showed her a picture of an unidentified man and requested her assistance in identifying him.
Goncalves’ ordeal was far from over as the investigating officer urged her to open a car theft charge. Following his advice, she complied, and the Langa family was duly informed.
The trial continues to unravel the horrifying events surrounding Langa’s disappearance and murder. The court is left to determine the culpability of Goncalves and Zungu in this tragic case that has shocked the community.