Couple discussed marriage breakdown before husband stabbed wife in Māngere Bridge, jury hears

The ex-wife of a man on trial for attempting to murder her confirmed the day he stabbed her was the first time they discussed the end of their marriage face to face.

Soafa Niumagumagu is on trial at the High Court in Auckland for stabbing Puapuaga Matamua outside her workplace and fatally hitting her colleague with his car on June 20, 2019 in Mangere Bridge.

He has been charged with murder, attempted murder and assault with a weapon.

Matamua says she feared for her life as he stabbed her multiple times in the carpark of Oji Fibre Solutions on Mahunga Drive, just days after the pair separated.

During cross examination today by defence lawyer Sharyn Green, Matamua confirmed by then she had moved in with a new partner.

Matamua claims June 7 was the day she officially separated with Niumagumagu, but they did not have a conversation about the end of the marriage face to face until the incident.

They briefly met on June 11 while he picked up their daughter’s car seat and passport but there was no conversation of the relationship, she confirmed.

She told the jury she cannot remember the exact date she started her new relationship.

Between June 7 and 20 she did not see her daughter, who was staying with relatives at this time.

She confirmed Niumagumagu sent her text messages during this time, telling her to come home and see her daughter.

Niumagumagu asked, “Why do you do that stuff to me?” – referring to the marriage breaking down – before he allegedly stabbed her, Matamua said.

Matamua described to the jury on Monday how she feared Niumagumagu was going to kill her with a weapon that looked like a nail or long screwdriver.

He waited at her car as she finished work, and then stabbed her as she tried to get into the driver’s seat, she claims. She was bleeding and calling for help.

She suffered stab wounds but was later discharged from hospital.

Sagaia Kaisala – who ran to Matamua’s aid – died after Niumagumagu hit her with his car, the Crown alleges.

Matamua claims she witnessed the collision.

“It’s really sad to me because it’s the wrong person who lost her life because of me and his conversation,” she told the courtroom.

Oji Fibre Solutions machine operator Ngaluola Palu was finishing his shift that day as he headed for the carpark.

“A lady yelled out for help so I walked down there and I saw Pua with another lady holding her … her face was covered with blood.

He spotted the pair on the steps of the smoko area in the carpark.

“Sagaia was holding Pua, wiping blood from her face and I see the other side, a guy I don’t him, but I know later it is Pua’s husband. At that time everybody [was] supposed to go home after work.

“All the cars were coming and stopping at the smoko area and one guy hopped out of his car and tried to hold Pua’s husband. He hold (sic) him hard but the old man was trying to get out.

“He was trying to give Pua a hiding so I push on his chest and tell him to go and he yelled: ‘Don’t worry that’s my wife’.”

Palu said Niumagumagu then got back in his car and drove toward Hastie Ave.

Before the incident

Two of Niumagumagu’s colleagues told the jury on Monday they had spoken to him at work about his deteriorating relationship with his wife.

“It seems like things are torn apart, things not looking well between him and his partner at the time,” Penilope Va’a told the jury.

“He talk about the anger that he had, the pain he had, the good things he had done for the wife and the family and [how] it’s very, very painful.

“He never said he was going to kill someone but said he would hurt someone to finish the pain.”

The trial continues.

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