Police name woman ‘murdered’ by artist Zwelethu Mthethwa

2013-06-21 15:14

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Her name is Nokuphila Kumalo. She was 23 years old and lived in Gugulethu. She likely made her living as a sex worker, although the police cannot confirm this.

Very little else is known about the young woman who was beaten to death on the streets of Woodstock earlier this year. Except that well-known artist Zwelethu Mthethwa was apparently identified by an eyewitness and also captured on CCTV.

On May 5 he was arrested for her murder in a case that continues to surprise and perplex those who know him. The woman was repeatedly hit and then kicked by her killer. She died on the scene.

According to his affadavit, Mthethwa was on a work stint in America in early May when the police contacted him about the murder that took place on April 13.

Provincial police spokesperson Colonel Tembinkosi Kinana confirmed the woman’s identity and said the motive for the killing remains unknown, but that police are still investigating.

The police were not willing to name the woman this week until she had been identified by her family. “We believe that she has already been buried, but I don’t know where the funeral took place, I presume Gugulethu,” said Kinana.

Mthethwa was released on R100000 bail on May 6 and will appear in court again on August 26.

Mthethwa’s affadavit states he co-operated with police and turned himself over to them on his return to the country. He said under oath he is innocent of any charges against him.

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