Pregnant teen’s killer gets 20 years

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

Pretoria - The 26-year-old man convicted of murdering pregnant teenager Zanele Khumalo was sentenced to 20 years in prison by the High Court in Pretoria on Friday.

"The sentence I impose is the following: on count one, murder, you are sentenced to 20 years imprisonment," Judge Johan Kruger said.

Thato Kutumela, dressed in white, stood as Kruger told him that he was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for rape and six months for theft.

"Sentences imposed regarding count two and three will run concurrently with count one," he said.

Kutumela was also declared unfit to possess a firearm.

As Kruger read the sentence there were people saying "yes" and "amen".

As Kutumela made his way down to the cells the people in court started clapping hands. A member of the ANC Women's League said a prayer in court afterwards.

Khumalo's family members, including her parents, sat in the front row of the public gallery wearing black T-shirts with her face printed on them.

Kutumela was found guilty in November last year of murdering and raping the mother of his unborn child.

She was found dead at her parents' home in Garsfontein, Pretoria east, in April 2011.

He was also found guilty of stealing the teenager's nightclothes and underwear to hide the fact that he had raped her.

He did not testify, but claimed in his plea explanation they had consensual sex that morning and that she was alive and well when he left.

This was after he initially claimed, at the magistrate's court, that he had been at work all day.

Khumalo's naked body was discovered under a blanket on her bed when her parents arrived home from work.

They rushed her to hospital, but she had by then already been dead for about six hours. - Sapa



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