Unique Porsche rims led to acclaimed artist's arrest

2016-03-07 14:30
Mthethwa (L) seen leaving court (Jenna Etheridge, News24)

Mthethwa (L) seen leaving court (Jenna Etheridge, News24)

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Cape Town - The unique rims on a black Porsche owned by acclaimed artist Zwelethu Mthethwa led to the identification of his car and his subsequent arrest, the Western Cape High Court heard on Monday.

Investigating officer Warrant Officer Stephen Smith testified that footage - not of the best quality - from a surveillance camera captured the events which led to the death of sex worker Nokuphila Kumalo.

The 23-year-old died after being kicked to death in Woodstock on April 14, 2013.

Armed with a not clearly legible car number plate, Smith and a colleague visited a Porsche dealership in Summergreens after the number plate did not reflect in eNatis, he testified.

"When we showed them the footage to help identify the vehicle, one employee said 'That is Zweli’s Porsche'.

"When asked how he knew, he said the rims were unique and had been ordered for the vehicle."

Smith said police visited Mthethwa’s home and workplace and were told that the artist was overseas.

He was arrested at Cape Town International Airport on May 5, 2013, upon his return.

Smith testified that tracker records also showed that Mthethwa’s vehicle had been in Ravenscraig Road, where Kumalo was killed.

The painter and photographer has pleaded not guilty to the murder charge.

Last month, forensic pathologist Dr Linda Liebenberg testified that Kumalo died as a result of blunt-force trauma.

She had also suffered severe injury to her liver, Liebenberg said.

The State alleges that CCTV footage captured the artist stopping his black Porsche 911 Carrera near Kumalo in the early hours of the morning she died.

According to the prosecution, the footage shows Mthethwa getting out of his car and "repeatedly kicking her and stamping on her body with booted feet".

Mthethwa was out on R100 000 bail.

Read more on:    zwelethu mthethwa  |  cape town

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