Slain teen's boyfriend denies attack

2012-10-15 20:00
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Pretoria - The boyfriend of an 18-year-old pregnant girl raped and strangled in Pretoria last year, has denied any complicity in her death.

Thato Kutumela, 26, of Mamelodi East, pleaded not guilty on Monday to charges of raping and murdering Zanele Khumalo at her parents' Garsfontein home in April last year.

Khumalo’s parents discovered her naked body face-down in her bedroom when they returned home from work. She was five-months pregnant with Kutumela’s child at the time.

The State has alleged that Kutumela slipped into the complex where she lived and gained entry into her house.

Kutumela allegedly told a security guard on duty at the shop where he worked he had been to see a doctor and wrongly indicated in the duty register that he started working shortly after 09:00 that day.

Kutumela admitted to being at Khumalo’s house that morning, but said they had consensual sex and that he had not murdered, robbed, or raped her.

"We had a conversation and ended up having consensual sex... in the lounge. While we were busy, the deceased’s cellphone rang. She went to her room to answer it.

"On her return she wanted to know when I was leaving for work. I got the impression she was in a hurry for me to leave. A neighbour enquired from the deceased if everything was okay. She said everything was okay.

"We thereafter had consensual sex a second time. I had a glass of juice and left. After I returned home, I found out the deceased had been killed," he said.

Khumalo's father Themba testified he had accepted Kutumela as his daughter’s boyfriend, because he had plans for his future which included his daughter.

When the family went on holiday, his daughter had acted strangely and had spent most of her time on the phone. She admitted she was pregnant in January.

"We were obviously angry that her future was in jeopardy... She wanted to study and asked us to give her a gap year. In the end we had no choice than to accept her pregnancy," he said.

Prosecutor George Baloyi applied for leave from the court to hand in the slain woman's diary as evidence and to lead evidence about a conversation she had with her father concerning her relationship with Kutumela.

Acting Judge Johan Kruger would rule on the evidence on Tuesday.

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