MUT murder accused confidently grinning from prisoner dock

03 May 2018 - 12:36
By Jeff Wicks

Thabani Mzolo - accused of the brutal slaying of Mangosuthu University of Technology student Zolile Khumalo - cut a confident‚ grinning figure in the dock.

The 23-year-old appeared briefly in the Durban Regional Court on Thursday morning.

The slaying of Khumalo‚ a quantity surveying student at the Mangosuthu University of Technology‚ brought to the fore issues of gender violence and femicide as debate on social media swirled.

She had been shot inside her room at the Lonsdale residence late on Tuesday night‚ after Mzolo allegedly signed in at a security post under a false name. Police confirmed that he was arrested at the scene‚ in possession of a pistol.

Khumalo and Mzolo had been in a relationship earlier‚ but had parted ways prior to their argument.

Mzolo grinned as he stepped into the dock waiting for the magistrate as a number of cameras zoomed onto him.

The prosecution team requested a seven-day remand‚ citing security concerns and the need for further investigation.

Mzolo steadied himself on the railing of the dock‚ staring blankly at Magistrate Mohamed Motala.

Hundreds of students gathered outside the courtroom in protest‚ having marched from residences in the city centre. Security and police barred the gates while negotiating with student leaders.

Sasco’s MUT branch chair Tumelo Moalosi told TimesLIVE that the protest was born out of security concerns at student housing facilities.

“We have a case here where someone got inside a residence with a gun‚ so obviously there are concerns about security‚” he said. “We are here to show our support for a call that the murderer in this matter must not get bail‚” Moalosi added.

News of Khumalo’s death broke on the same day Sandile Mantsoe was found guilty in the Johannesburg High Court of the 2017 murder of his girlfriend Karabo Mokoena.