Cape Town - Leonard Mzingeli pleaded guilty to the murder of high school pupil Amahle Quku, as his trial began at the Western Cape High Court on Monday.
Mzingeli is charged for his alleged attacks on Amahle and another woman in Philippi after the 17-year-old’s body was found with her clothes ripped off in Browns Farm, Nyanga, on June 20, 2020.
He pleaded guilty to Amahle’s murder but failed to give a plea explanation, exercising his right to remain silent. He pleaded not guilty to two counts of rape and one count of attempted murder.
The State said the last time Amahle was seen alive was when she left a party with Mzingeli where they had drinks together with friends a day before her body was found.
The State said that she was strangled as the post-mortem confirmed that her injuries were consistent with external pressure to her neck Amahle’s mother, Mandulele, was at court but declined to speak to the media, while the teen’s childhood friend, Asavela Funani, said that she knew Mzingeli from the area.
“We want him to rot in jail. We feel disappointed because we trusted him,” she said. “Our hearts are broken because of losing her but we want justice for Amahle,” she said.
Mzingeli also faces charges for the rape and attempted murder of another woman who cannot be named. The woman endured a terrifying attack allegedly at the hands of Mzingeli in Octber 2019.
The State alleged that Mzingeli followed the woman while she was on her way to a shop at Sinyagena informal settlement. There he tripped the woman and proceeded to stab her multiple times, the scars of which are still visible on her face and neck.
The woman identified Mzingela after she saw a Facebook post in June 2020 and recognised him as the attacker.