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Cape Town - International artist Zwelethu Mthethwa’s car was stormed by gender activists and prostitutes when he left the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.
He is alleged to have repeatedly beaten and kicked prostitute Nokuphila Khumalo, 23, at the Tollgate Industrial Centre in Woodstock at about 2am on April 14. She died at the scene.
The director of public prosecutions (DPP) is set to decide whether Mthethwa will go on trial in the Western Cape High Court or the Cape Town Regional Court.
Prosecutor Cecil Engel told the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court that the docket had been sent to the offices of the DPP for senior prosecutors to decide.
“The DPP has some queries with regard to the video footage and the cellphone records. We just need to clarify those two reports,” Engel told magistrate Alfrieda Lewis.
William Booth, for Mthethwa, had no objection to the matter being postponed but asked that it be marked final for further investigation.
Mthethwa, 52, of Devils Peak, has been linked to the crime via video footage that allegedly showed his car at the murder scene.
In an affidavit, Mthethwa said he would plead not guilty to the charges.
Booth said his client continued to work but added the reaction from gender activists and prostitutes was “uncalled for”. He was referring to the group that stormed Mthethwa’s vehicle as he was escorted from the court.
Mthethwa’s case was called at 1.45pm with most of the people still outside for lunch. He was then ushered to the underground holding cells to avoid using the front entrance where the angry crowd waited for him.
The crowd chanted: “Viva sex workers, viva,” and brandished posters that read: “An injury to one woman is an injury to all,” and “Stop harassing us, we are also human.”
After the court appearance Eva Khumalo went to the site where her daughter was killed and laid a bunch of roses in her memory.
Booth said his client was dealing with the case. “Emotionally, he is having a bit of a tough time. He is handling the matter and will deal with the case if and when it goes to trial.”
Mthethwa, who is on bail of R100 000, is due back in court on November 25.