Convicted artist Zwelethu Mthethwa denied bail

2017-03-31 13:45
Zwelethu Mthethwa (Deon Raath, Netwerk24)

Zwelethu Mthethwa (Deon Raath, Netwerk24)

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Cape Town – Convicted killer Zwelethu Mthethwa was denied bail on Friday, following his application for release ahead of his sentencing.

The 57-year-old artist was expressionless when Western Cape High Court Judge Patricia Goliath dismissed his application.

The court could not rely on his assurance that he was not a flight risk. He was a man "of considerable means", she said.

Mthethwa had argued for his release by saying he had affairs to wind up. Goliath said this applied to everyone convicted of a crime.

"People can’t be treated differently because of their status in society and because they have wealth," she said.

She said Mthethwa could appoint someone to deal with his affairs.

He was convicted two weeks ago for killing sex worker Nokuphila Kumalo in 2015. His bail of R100 000 was revoked.

On Wednesday, his lawyer William Booth brought the application to release him on bail, arguing he was not a flight risk and needed to "make long-term arrangements for all aspects of his life".

'Dangerous precedent'

Booth said Mthethwa was willing to pay R200 000 bail and abide by any other conditions.

Prosecutor Christenus van der Vijver said the basis of the bail application seemed to be the "inconvenience" that incarceration had caused to the artist's life.

He argued that releasing him would set a "dangerous precedent" and that Mthethwa could give power of attorney to someone to sort out his affairs.

Among the matters Mthethwa wanted to take care of was personally informing his 15-year-old daughter in England of his conviction, and arrange her tertiary education and funding for the next few years.

The water and electricity accounts at his R5m home in Devil's Peak Estate had to be taken care of, along with his Porsche, furniture, and art collection.

Also to be addressed were rent money and artworks for his studio in Adderley Street, payment arrangements for his art at the Jack Shainman gallery in New York, the caretaking of his plot in Clanwilliam, and payment for his insurance broker.

He also hoped to make arrangements with prison authorities for his gluten intolerance.

Sentencing arguments were postponed until April 20. This was so that the defence could secure reports from experts such as a forensic social worker and clinical psychologist.

Read more on:    zwelethu mthethwa  |  cape town  |  murder  |  crime

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