Trial of alleged eMbalenhle serial killer begins in Secunda Regional Court – Ridge Times

The trial of a suspected serial killer from eMbalenhle began on Tuesday July 26 with a survivor as the first witness on the stand.

The young woman, who was a teenager at the time of her attack, testified behind closed doors before the regional court of Secunda.

Themba Shongwe is accused of murdering several young girls in eMbalenhle between 2016 and 2018.

Magistrate Graham Cupido advised the survivor of her constitutional right to testify without an audience present in the gallery.

The community and journalists were asked to stay outside the courtroom while the survivor testified.

After the first witness testified behind closed doors, his mother was called to the stand.

The mother told the court her family was terrified by what happened to their child in 2016.

She had sent her child to buy bread in a store near post 14, eMbalenhle.

Police pathologists remove the body of baby Rato Nkutha from where he was dumped on May 7, 2018.

The girl came back with her hair and clothes full of grass.

The girl told her mother that someone had raped her and taken her cell phone.

The woman took her daughter to the police station where a rape case was opened.

The mother also testified that after the case was opened, they went to Evander Hospital where it was confirmed that the girl had been raped.

The mother said as they were on their way back to eMbalenhle with the police, her cell phone rang and the number on the screen was her daughter’s stolen cell phone.

The girl answered the call and put it on speakerphone so the police could hear the conversation as well.

The mother testified that the appellant asked her child to meet him where they had met the day before (when she was raped).

She told the court that the caller informed his child that he knew she had informed the police and his family about what had happened.

Mihle Zingamo (14) was murdered in November 2018.

When the girl denied, the caller hung up.

The witness also told the court that since the rape, the girl has become aggressive, even after receiving counseling.

She said that sometimes the girl was in a bad mood and even beat her siblings for no reason.

“She also told me that I didn’t love her, and how she was affected by the incident. Later, she also got pregnant.

“As a family, we always want to know who raped our child and why,” said one mother.

She told the court that she did not know Shongwe, nor did she know who raped her child.

Lerato Nkuta (11), nicknamed Rato, was murdered in May 2018.

The trial has been postponed to Thursday August 4 so that more witnesses can testify.

Shongwe was arrested in 2019.

Angry locals burned down Shongwe’s house at the time.

He is charged with the murder of Nokulunga Nkutha (13) in 2016, Cynthia Masilela (16) in 2017, Lerato (Rato) Nkutha (11) in May 2018 and Mihle Zingamo (14) in November 2018.
Nokulunga and Rato were cousins.

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Elna M. Lemons