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Murder accused artist to hear fate

Zwelethu Mthethwa at the Cape Town High Court. Photo: Adrian de Kock/Independent Media

Zwelethu Mthethwa at the Cape Town High Court. Photo: Adrian de Kock/Independent Media

Published Mar 16, 2017

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Cape Town – The Western Cape High Court is expected to deliver judgment in the case against internationally acclaimed artist and murder accused Zwelethu Mthethwa on Thursday.

The trial has dragged on for eighteen months and was described as "mammoth" by Judge Patricia Goliath when it finally wrapped up in December last year.

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Mthethwa is accused of kicking and beating to death 23-year-old sex worker Nokuphila Kumalo in the early hours of April 14, 2013, in Ravenscraig Road, Woodstock.

Since his arrest the following month, he has maintained that he cannot recall what happened.

All he could remember was that he was at The Corner Lounge in Gugulethu on the afternoon of April 13 where he paid for R2 016 worth of alcohol.

He denied any involvement in the murder. CCTV footage captured the assault, however, and the State contended that Mthethwa was both the driver of the Porsche seen pulling over in Ravenscraig Road and the person attacking Kumalo.

But in final arguments, defence lawyer William Booth pointed to the poor quality of the video and argued that it was not Mthethwa in the visuals.

Senior state prosecutor Christenus van der Vijver argued that the video footage had not been tampered with, contrary to the defence's argument, but was in fact a "very simple, uncomplicated scene".

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"A car pulled up, a person got out, crossed the street, was off screen for twenty seconds, then the assault started, then the person got back in the car and drove off."

He argued that the driver and the attacker were indeed the same person.

"The fact that the vehicle stopped almost in the middle of the street, that person then walked across street. It indicates he found what he was looking for, it's an indication of someone who is cross, angry."

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He said tracker records had shown that it was Mthethwa's car parked in Ravenscraig Road.

Africa News Agency

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