Body in freezer: suspected killer walking free, say family

2011-03-02 00:00

FAMILY members and friends of the Inchanga woman whose naked body was found stashed in a freezer say they are living in fear because her boyfriend is walking free, although witnesses have linked him to the murder.

Nokuthula Zungu (50), aunt of the 32-year-old deceased, Nompumelelo Khanyile, said she is angry as police have not questioned the suspect, who now lives in his hometown of Harrismith, Free State.

Witnesses said they saw Muzi Khoza (27) assaulting Khanyile a week before her body was found in a house occupied by Khoza in Hammarsdale. It is believed that the partly decomposed body had been in the fridge for a week.

Witnesses report that Khoza left Hammarsdale shortly before the body was found on February 20.

Zungu said the family is struggling to find closure while the alleged suspect is walking freely.

“Police know where he is, but they don’t want to make an arrest.

“This morning I went to Hammarsdale police station to question the investigating officer, who told me that his senior is refusing to authorise his trip to Harrismith,” said Zungu.

Zungu said the family wants Police Commissioner General Bheki Cele and Minister Nathi Mthethwa to intervene in the matter.

“I’m pleading with them to help get the suspect arrested and prosecuted.

“We fear for our lives since this man knows where we live and work,” said Zungu.

A friend of Khanyile, who cannot be named to protect her, said she is available to testify about what she saw on the evening of February 12.

She said the trouble started when Khanyile prepared an egg sandwich for a friend at Khoza’s house at about 8 pm.

“As Khanyile was frying the egg, he accused her of wasting his food. He kicked her all over the body and head for about 10 minutes until she was unable to stand up. We stopped him, and took him to a nearby shebeen where we consumed beer, while leaving the deceased in the house. After an hour he went back to the house where he continued to assault her.

“We could not get in as he had locked the doors,” said the witness, who now fears for her life.

The alleged suspect’s sister, Mantombi Khoza (33), said her brother is at home with his family.

“I don’t know why police are not going home to arrest him. We have been begging him to hand himself over to the police, but he refuses,” said Mantombi Khoza.

Police spokesperson Brigadier Phindile Radebe appealed to ­Khanyile’s family to be patient.

She said the local police know that the man is in Harrismith and are in touch with their colleagues there.

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