Man who killed girlfriend is remanded

iol pic sa PN Khutu INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS Thato Kutumela was found guilty of the rape and murder of Zanele Khumalo. Picture: Masi Losi

Pretoria - Convicted murderer and rapist Thato Kutumela will have to wait another two weeks to hear his fate.

On Friday the Pretoria High Court postponed sentencing to March 27 and 28 for his legal representative, Advocate Anneke van Wyk, to be available. Her father died this week and Kutumela is not comfortable to continue without her.

Kutumela was last year found guilty of the rape and murder of his pregnant girlfriend Zanele Khumalo, 18. Her body was found by her parents when they returned to their Garsfontein home in April, 2011.

He also stole her underwear and robe.

Clinical psychologist Suzette Heath continued her evidence into her report she wrote after assessing Kutumela and holding interviews with his family and friends.

The State suggested that because Kutumela met and made his current girlfriend Nelisiwe Ntuli pregnant only four months after Khumalo’s death, it indicated that he was not remorseful or in mourning.

“That happens a lot. I suppose he met a lady, had sex with her and she fell pregnant eventually cementing their relationship. Even when people are in mourning they can fall into the hands of someone else for comfort. I cannot talk about remorse. People in mourning also have to go on with their lives. They can’t sit around all the time,” Heath said.

She stated that Kutumela displayed traits of someone who feared being rejected.

In her testimony, Heath said because Kutumela was still young and has a child, rehabilitation was an option.

“His girlfriend took the child once to see him in prison and that disturbed the child. They decided they won’t bring him often or at all to the prison because the child was disturbed by not being able to interact with his father. This to me shows there is a certain amount of responsibility,” Heath said.

In her report, Heath also stated that Kutumela was a “serious thinker, socially aware and innovative. He does not smoke or use alcohol and he is a devout Muslim”.

Both families were in court but sat on opposite sides of the public gallery.

Kutumela’s family and his girlfriend were sitting together.

As Kutumela sat in the dock – his bail was revoked after his conviction – he turned around once and looked at the gallery where Khumalo’s family was sitting.

On Thursday Busi Khumalo said: “It is hard for me to sit here and see him. The case has been going on for a long time.

“He and his family have never come to us to explain what happened. I cannot forgive him. If I say I forgive him, what would I be forgiving him for?

“He still maintains that he did not kill my child. The guilty verdict helped us with closure, but what is painful is that he has still not spoken. There is no way I can forgive.

“I’ve accepted I will never see my child again, but it was not easy. Zanele was very close to her little sister Lindi.”

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Pretoria News Weekend



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