SWEAT welcomes Mthethwa verdict

By ANA Time of article published Mar 17, 2017

Share this article:

Sexworkers embraced and fought back tears as acclaimed artist Zwelethu Mthethwa was found guilty of murder in the Western Cape High Court on Thursday. Mthethwa was convicted of beating sexworker Nokuphila Kumalo to death on April 14, 2013 in Woodstock.

The Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce’s (SWEAT) Sally Shackleton welcomed the verdict: “We have been monitoring the case and the outcome is very meaningful to us. We hope this will set a precedent for other cases. We eagerly await sentencing.”

Defence lawyer William Booth asked the court to extend Mthethwa’s bail until sentencing, arguing that his client had co-operated throughout the trial and had handed in his passport. But Judge Patricia Goliath said: “Once a person is convicted of a serious offence the presumption of innocence falls away.” Bail was revoked, so Mthethwa spent his first night in prison.

Judge Goliath accepted CCTV footage which captured the kicking and beating of Kumalo, describing it as a “silent witness”. She said the case had been largely based on circumstantial evidence that she had weighed up “holistically”. The judge found that Kumalo's attacker and the driver of the Porsche 911 Carrera were the same person.

Tracker evidence found that the Porsche, belonging to Mthethwa, was parked in Ravenscraig Road during the six-minute attack.

Judge Goliath said the defence’s attack on the authenticity of the footage could not be accepted: “It is real evidence.” Sentencing proceedings have been set for March 29. - ANA

Share this article: