Cape Town - The defence advocate for renowned South African artist and photographer Zwelethu Mthethwa, who is accused of murdering a prostitute, on Monday requested a test of the credibility of CCTV footage to be presented before court.
This was part of an ongoing trial at the Western Cape High Court in which Mthethwa stands accused of beating a 23-year-old sexworker, Nokuphila Kumalo, to death in Woodstock, Cape Town, in 2013.
The State on Monday called its second witness, a CCTV specialist, who testified that the cameras could only capture what had happened directly in front of it.
The specialist Nathan Bearman had installed two security systems, at two buildings opposite each other. Bearman, who is the co owner of Eagle Technology, told the court he had 14 years of experience in setting up CCTV surveillance cameras and added that it was impossible to manipulate the video footage, and that new information could not be copied onto the hard drive.
He said the manager of one of the buildings, called Tollgate, was requested by police to play back the footage captured in the early hours of 14 April 2013. Bearman insisted that nobody could have added or edited video on the hard drive.
But Mthethwa’s lawyer, William Booth, is contesting the admissibility and reliability of the CCTV footage.
On Thursday, Judge Patricia Goliath, will make a ruling on whether that aspect must be determined by way of a trial within a trial. The State’s case hinges on the footage which allegedly captured Mthethwa pulling over to the side of the road in his Porsche and then kicking and beating Kumalo to death.
The case continues on Tuesday when a pathologist is expected to take the stand.
The trial, in which Mthethwa is accused of kicking and beating to death Kumalo in Ravenscraig Road in Woodstock, finally got underway last week after two years of postponements. Kumalo’s body was found in the early hours of Sunday, April 14 2013.
The first witness called to the stand was Constable Asanda Sasha who is stationed at the Woodstock police station.
He testified last week that he had received a complaint from the police radio controller about a body found on the side of the road. He described how he arrived on the scene where there was a security guard standing by the body. He had noticed injuries on the woman’s face and an ambulance was called.