Final arguments in Mthethwa murder trial

African News Agency (ANA)

Final arguments in Mthethwa murder trial

Final arguments are expected in the Western Cape High Court on Tuesday, in the case against internationally acclaimed artist and murder-accused Zwelethu Mthethwa.

Mthethwa is accused of kicking and beating to death 23-year-old sex worker Nokuphila Kumalo in Woodstock in April 2013.

On November 7, the defence called its final witness, Petronella van der Westhuizen, who worked as a crime scene investigator for the police for 21 years.

She told the court that it was likely that the assailant would have had “some physical evidence on his person, like hands, shoes and clothing after the physical contact”, and this would have been transferred to the vehicle.

During the trial senior forensic pathologist Dr Linda Liebenberg testified that Kumalo died of “blunt trauma injury to the trunk”.

The State’s case against Mthethwa was largely based on CCTV footage which allegedly showed his porsche pulling over to the side of Ravenscraig Road in Woodstock in the early hours of 14 April 2013.

The actual attack can also be seen on the footage, but the poor quality of the visuals led to defence lawyer William Booth challenging its reliability and authenticity.

Van der Westhuizen said that the CCTV footage showed the driver touching the vehicle when he gets into the driver’s seat and drives off “which will improve the transfer of physical evidence to the vehicle”.

No DNA evidence from the victim was found in Mthethwa’s car. His car was examined about 22 or 23 days after the incident, which according to Van der Westhuizen’s report, could have had a negative impact on the physical evidence “as it could have degraded to such an extent that it was no longer viable”.

She testified that it looked like blood around the victim’s neck and chest area on the crime scene photographs, and that would have been transferred to the accused.

However, senior Prosecutor Christenus van der Vijver said: “You are wrong, what you seem to think is blood is not, it’s bruising”.

Mthethwa pleaded not guilty at the start of his trial, and remains on bail of R100,000.

South Africa Today – South Africa News

SOURCEAfrican News Agency (ANA)