SA artist Zwelethu Mthethwa back in court later this week

2015-06-15 20:14
Zwelethu Mthethwa. Picture: Deon Raath

Zwelethu Mthethwa. Picture: Deon Raath

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Cape Town - Acclaimed artist Zwelethu Mthethwa returns to court on Wednesday when his lawyer will continue to argue the CCTV system that captured his alleged victim’s murder is unreliable and the footage not authentic.

He has pleaded not guilty to kicking 23-year-old sex worker Nokuphila Kumalo to death in Woodstock, Cape Town, on April 14 2013. His trial was adjourned in the Western Cape High Court on Monday afternoon.

Kumalo’s mother Eva stood in the cold outside court getting ready to return to her workplace in Langa.

“I didn’t know she was a sex worker, but no matter what… she didn’t deserve to die like that,” she said over a chorus of singing sex workers who held posters calling for justice.

The Gugulethu resident said her daughter used to tell her she was going to play netball in Woodstock.

“She was a very nice person. She was happy and she always said to me 'one day I am going to work for you mama and I am going to buy you a nice house'.”

The Western Cape High Court proceeded with a trial-within-a-trial on Monday morning to determine the authenticity of the footage, and whether it could be admitted as evidence. 

The State called Eagle Technology director Nathan Bearman to the stand because he had installed the CCTV systems at two sites in Ravenscraig Road, Woodstock, where Kumalo died.

The State alleges that CCTV footage captured the artist stopping his black Porsche 911 Carrera close to Kumalo in the early hours of the morning. It further alleges that the footage shows the accused exiting his vehicle and “repeatedly kicking her and stamping on her body with booted feet”.

She died as a result of blunt-force trauma.

The footage has yet to be shown in court.

Judge Patricia Goliath said she took exception to defence lawyer William Booth’s bold statement that Bearman was not an expert in the CCTV realm, and asked whether he would acknowledge that he had sufficient knowledge on installation, supply and maintenance.

The lawyer said he would perhaps concede to the installation part. Goliath laughed and said the witness had never claimed to be an expert in CCTV watermarks or forensic analysis.

A smartly-dressed Mthethwa, who is out on R100 000 bail, appeared reserved in the dock and stuck close to two men as he exited the courtroom on Monday.

Read more on:    zwelethu mthethwa  |  cape town  |  crime

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