Dutywa man briefly appears in court charged with murder of Wits student Asithandile Zozo

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A protester holds a photo of Asithandile “Kwasa” Zozo during a protest against gender-based violence outside the Dutywa Magistrates’ Court on Thursday. Picture: Lubabalo Ngcukana/City Press
A protester holds a photo of Asithandile “Kwasa” Zozo during a protest against gender-based violence outside the Dutywa Magistrates’ Court on Thursday. Picture: Lubabalo Ngcukana/City Press

NEWS


Thousands of young people marched in Dutywa in the Eastern Cape on Thursday following the court appearance of the man suspected of murdering Asithandile “Kwasa” Zozo, a first year Wits University student.

Viwe Rulumeni, Zozo’s ex-boyfriend, appeared in the Dutywa Magistrates’ Court for the murder of the 19-year-old Zozo after he allegedly stabbed her to death on Monday.

Rulumeni (22), who allegedly tried to commit suicide, was arrested on Wednesday. He will remain behind bars until August 26 when he returns to court.

Eastern Cape provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Liziwe Ntshinga expressed shock and dismay at the brutal murder of Zozo.

“It is just unbelievable that in our desperate attempts to end the scourge of gender-based violence in our society, our message seems to be falling in deaf ears. This is indeed very devastating news and more examples must be made of those we have already arrested in order to send a clear message to would-be perpetrators of women abuse,” said Ntshinga.

She had many dreams and ambitions. But now they have been taken away from her.
Sinesipho Mniki

The accused was admitted to the Butterworth Hospital after he allegedly overdosed on tablets in what is believed to be an attempted suicide.

Outside court thousands of young people clad in black marched from the court to the Dutywa police station where they handed over a memorandum.

Earlier the marchers, who included pupils from the Mida English Medium Christian School which Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi attended, had marched along the main road in Dutywa closing the N2 towards Butterworth.

Zozo, a first year biological sciences student at Wits, was described by her friends as a loving and kind person who was full of life.

Sinesipho Mniki, the coordinator of the march, said it was ironic that Zozo died almost to the day the University of Cape Town student Uyinene Mrwetyana, who was raped and murdered by a post office worker on August 24 last year.

Thousands of young people clad in black marched fr
Thousands of young people clad in black marched from the court to the Dutywa police station where they handed over a memorandum. Picture: Lubabalo Ngcukana/City Press

Mniki said Zozo had been deeply touched by Uyinene’s death and had been in the forefront of gender-based violence protests on campus.

“I saw Kwasa [as Zozo was affectionately known] as a young woman who stood up against gender-based violence. She even participated in an [anti] gender-based violence movement at Wits. It is so sad that it also happened to her while she was the one who was saying enough is enough,” Mniki said.

OPINION: Gender-based violence legislation is not enough

“The movement she was part of at Wits followed the death of Uyinene. She was touched by her death. She was in fear that what happened to Uyinene could also happen to her, but was courageous to break the silence and speak out.

“She had many dreams and ambitions. But now they have been taken away from her. She wanted to build her mother a house. She had big dreams about her home town of Dutywa. She wanted to develop her home town. She was very passionate about her people,” Mniki said.

She described Zozo as a loving person, kind, bubbly young woman who stood up for what she believed in.


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Lubabalo Ngcukana 

Journalist

+27 11 713 9001
lubabalo.ngcukana@citypress.co.za
www.citypress.co.za
69 Kingsway Rd, Auckland Park

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