Gallery stands by its artist

27 August 2013 - 02:39 By NASHIRA DAVIDS
Zwelethu Mthethwa handed himself over to the police
Zwelethu Mthethwa handed himself over to the police

The Everard Read Gallery will continue to represent artist and murder accused Zwelethu Mthethwa.

Mthethwa appeared briefly in the Cape Town Magistrate's Court yesterday. The case was postponed to October 10.

It has been alleged that the acclaimed artist and photographer was caught on CCTV beating to death Nokuphila Kumalo, said to be a prostitute, in Woodstock early this year.

But Mark Read, director of Africa's oldest art gallery, which celebrated its centenary last year, said Mthethwa was innocent until proved guilty.

"I have chosen not to ask questions of Zwelethu. We've not spoken about it and I respect his privacy in this most appalling time," said Read.

But "my heart goes out to the family of the poor woman".

"The collectors of his work have not contacted me. There has been an absolutely deathly silence."

Mthethwa's lawyer, William Booth, said he would plead not guilty.