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Pta murder accused 'changed clothes'

2012-10-17 22:28

Johannesburg - A man accused of killing his 18-year-old girlfriend changed his clothes when he left the scene of the crime, the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria heard on Wednesday.

Elvis Sithole, a casual labourer, testified he had seen Thato Kutumela outside the Garsfontein complex of his pregnant girlfriend, Zanele Khumalo, on the morning of her murder in April 2011.

Kutumela stood outside the gate using his cellphone for about 15 minutes before slipping in when it opened for an approaching car.
Sithole recognised Kutumela because he had often seen him there with Khumalo.

According to Sithole, Kutumela wore blue work clothes and had an empty-looking backpack with him when he entered the property. He left after a long time with a full backpack, wearing a black jersey.

Attack

Kutumela is accused of raping, strangling, and robbing the 18-year-old.

Khumalo's father, Themba, discovered her body, naked and on her bed, covered by a blanket, when he arrived home from work that afternoon.

He testified earlier that his wife and a neighbour had to wrap her in towels because they could not find any sign of her night-dress or gown.

Kutumela has admitted in court to having consensual sex twice with Zanele Khumalo the morning of the killing, but denied raping or murdering her.

Kutumela's lawyer argued he was wearing black clothes that morning and had entered after phoning Khumalo on her landline at 08:31 and left at 09:00.

Sithole conceded he was not wearing a watch that morning and had not looked at the time on his cellphone as he had no reason to think anything suspicious was happening.