Zwelethu Mthethwa at the Cape Town High Court. He is accused of murdering 23-year-old alleged sex worker Nokuphila Kumalo in April 2013. Picture: Adrian de Kock/Independent Media
Zwelethu Mthethwa at the Cape Town High Court. He is accused of murdering 23-year-old alleged sex worker Nokuphila Kumalo in April 2013. Picture: Adrian de Kock/Independent Media

Move to recall witness who identified artist’s car

By Catherine Rice Time of article published May 18, 2016

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Cape Town - The defence lawyer for internationally acclaimed artist and murder accused Zwelethu Mthethwa on Wednesday brought an application in the Western Cape High Court to recall a state witness.

Lawyer William Booth said it would be “in the interests of justice” to recall Porsche salesman Ruaan Steynfaardt who testified earlier in the trial.

Mthethwa has been charged with beating and kicking to death 23-year-old sex worker Nokuphila Kumalo in the early hours of April 14, 2013. CCTV footage captured the attack.

Steynfaardt earlier testified that the Porsche seen in the footage matched the car he had sold to Mthethwa.

A gait expert, Dr Nicholas Tam, from the University of Cape Town’s department of human biology, also testified about the CCTV footage which does not clearly identify the attacker. He told the Western Cape High Court that he compared video footage of the perpetrator at the crime scene with security footage of the accused.

But he conceded that the footage of the crime scene was of very poor quality, and that made it difficult to compare the gait of the accused taken from court security footage and the gait of the perpetrator.

After a trial within a trial was held last year, the CCTV footage of the crime scene was, however, ruled admissable.

Booth on Wednesday told the court that he had consulted with the manager of Porsche, and as a result of those discussions, as well as the evidence of the gait expert, he felt it would be prejudicial to his client not to recall Steynfaardt.

“This is not an exercise in rehashing any issues. This is about aspects that came out in subsequent evidence presented to court, and what we were told by the Porsche manager”.

He told Judge Patricia Goliath that both Steynfaardt and Tam had looked at the same CCTV footage. Steynfaardt had identifed Mthethwa’s Porsche from the rims of its tyres which Booth argued was “impossible”.

Goliath will consider the application and make her ruling on May 24, 2016.

African News Agency

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