Frozen body: man in court

2011-03-04 00:00

AS a man suspected of killing his girlfriend and stashing her body in a freezer walked in shackles from the Hammarsdale police station holding cells to the nearby local magistrate’s court, scores of people jumped in jubilation yesterday morning.

The crowd who gathered at the court and police station premises included the murdered woman’s friends and relatives. Friends of Muzi Khoza, the accused, were also there in numbers, seeing him for the first time since 32-year-old Nompumelelo Khanyile’s naked, partially decomposed body was discovered at 63 Jordan Street, the house that Khoza occupied.

“I saw him walking in shackles from the police station building to the court. He looks thin and exhausted now.

“He sent one of his friends to buy airtime, which made me so angry that I just took away that R100. How can he agree to be sent by an alleged criminal and tell everyone about it,” said Khanyile’s aunt Nokuthula Zungu (50).

The 32-year-old Khanyile’s frozen body was found on February 20. It is alleged that Khoza beat her to death before putting her body into the freezer a week before his friends made the gory discovery.

He was brought back from his hometown of Harrismith in the Free State on Wednesday evening. He left Hammarsdale a few days before the body was found at the house that belonged to Khoza’s elder sister Mantombi (33).

The Witness learnt that after being pursued by his family for about a week he finally made a call to an investigating officer on Wednesday morning to arrange to hand himself in.

“But when the police arrived here in Harrismith he had disappeared. He later called to tell then he had gone to a traditional healer to get muthi to help him win the case and they should wait for him,” said a source close to the suspect’s family.

Police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane said Khoza finally handed himself to the police at about 7 pm.

“Right now he is going to court. He did not even try to resist arrest,” said Zwane.

The deceased’s younger sister, Wandile Khanyile, said the arrest will help her sister to rest in peace.

“We heard it at about 9 pm and we jumped in jubilation. I’m overwhelmed with excitement.

“I knew he would be arrested soon because the investigating officer has been reassuring us,” said Wandile Khanyile.

Sthembiso Zulu (35), the deceased’s friend, said she is now praying that he be denied bail.

“For our safety he should be kept in prison for the duration of the trial,” said Zulu.

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