According to expert testimony, she died in agony.
Durban – Sinethemba Ngubo, 26, died of strangulation, apparently at the hands of her boyfriend. But she suffered tremendously before dying.
This was according to the evidence of a pathologist testifying yesterday in the Durban High Court in the trial of Simiso Chonco.
Dr Ipileng Tsikwe, who conducted the post-mortem on the body of the pregnant Ngubo, gave a chilling account of how she must have been in agony because of unbearable vaginal and other injuries before being strangled.
Chonco allegedly killed Ngubo and dumped her body at the cemetery in Lindelani.
Undisputed evidence heard in the trial is that Ngubo drove to Chonco’s home in Ntuzuma on the day of the incident and found him with another woman.
When her knocks went unanswered, she became angry and broke the windows of his house. The two argued outside, before leaving in her car.
Ngubo’s body was later found at the cemetery, naked from the waist down.
Chonco’s second girlfriend, Nondumiso Mbili, who had been in the house with him when Ngubo arrived, testified that Chonco left with Ngubo and returned 40 minutes later to tell her that he had killed her.
She told the court she would not believe him until he showed her the body.
Chonco then drove around in Ngubo’s car while looking for someone to remove the tracker. He was later arrested.
Ngubo’s family sat quietly in court as Tsikwe explained what had caused her death, while others in the packed gallery could not hide their shock and disgust.
The doctor said she found the body covered in dried grass and leaves. Ngubo’s clothing was soiled and torn.
She said she found blunt force injuries on the outside and inside of the vagina, and an 18-week-old male foetus.
Ngubo’s face was swollen, had bite marks on the upper and lower lips, and blood in the nostrils and mouth.
Tsikwe said: “The anal and vaginal tears she had were so severe that she would not have been able to walk on her own, let alone drive a car. Based on my knowledge, the injuries were so painful, uncomfortable and unbearable, she would not have been able to have sexual intercourse and she would not have been in a position to walk or do anything after getting them. I believe she sustained them when she had non-consensual sexual intercourse.”
Chonco, through his lawyer, Themba Mbili, said he would tell the court that he had sex with Ngubo at about 3pm on the day of the incident. Mbili said Chonco would also testify that he and Ngubo had a scuffle and she suffered an asthma attack.
However, Tsikwe said her examination showed no sign that Ngubo was asthmatic or had had an asthma attack. “Somebody who is having an asthma attack is not going to bite their lips because to do that they would need to have their mouth closed.”
The case continues.