Jilted lover sentenced for Wits student Asithandile Zozo’s murder
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DURBAN - VIWE Rulumeni has been handed a 20-year prison sentence for the murder of GBV activist and Wits student Asithandile Zozo.
Zozo was choked and stabbed to death in full view of her younger siblings, in August last year.
Spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority in Mthatha, Luxolo Tyali, said Rulumeni admitted that Zozo, who was then 19, had ended their romantic relationship and he did not want to accept that.
"On the day of the incident, he went to Zozo’s home in Dutywa because she was ignoring his attempts to talk to her.
“He then forcefully took Zozo to an open field where he stabbed her several times until the knife he was using broke. After killing Zozo, Rulumeni took a poisonous substance in an attempt to commit suicide but he was taken to hospital where he recovered," Tyali said.
Tyali said in a pre-sentence report, prepared by a social worker, Rulumeni claimed he was abandoned when he grew up.
"The report also revealed that he was motivated by jealousy when he committed the offence because Zozo had progressed to university, while his life seemed to have stagnated after passing matric," Tyali said.
In aggravation of sentence, Advocate Bakhe Mtukushe submitted the Victim Impact Statement prepared by Court Preparation Manager, Sindisiwe Buthelezi.
The statement explained the trauma the father and the siblings of the deceased suffered following her murder.
"The prosecutor also led the evidence of Zozo’s mother and that of her cousin, who attended the same university as her," Tyali said.
Welcoming the sentence, Eastern Cape director of Public Prosecutions in the Mthatha Region, Barry Madolo applauded the investigation and prosecution team for the short turnaround time in finalising the case.
"We will continue to strive for swift justice without compromising prosecutions, more especially in our priority crimes such as femicide," he said.