Police to delve into life of man accused of killing MUT student Zolile Khumalo
Deputy Police Minister Bongani Mkongi said that the investigation into murder accused Thabani Mzolo would go beyond the slaying of student Zolile Khumalo‚ who was gunned down at a university residence last week.
Speaking outside the Durban Regional Court‚ where Mzolo made a brief appearance on Thursday‚ Mkongi said that detectives had already begun delving into the life of the 23-year-old jilted lover.
He said that the case against Mzolo was “watertight” and that the police probe would have a broad scope.
“Through our investigations we have found other activities [of a criminal nature allegedly perpetrated by Mzolo] and we are looking at adding more cases against him.”
Mkongi said that the gun allegedly used by Mzolo to shoot Khumalo was a central piece of evidence and was being examined by ballistics experts.
“At this stage we know that the serial number was filed off and we are looking into whether or not the gun is linked to other cases‚ be it political killings or taxi violence.”
Mkongi said that a widely distributed image of Mzolo holding a rifle was also under focus.
“He was holding a big gun and that is also something we are looking into. We want to get to the root of this‚” he added.
Minister for women Bathabile Dlamini said that she was greatly pained by the scourge of femicide.
“This problem‚ as well as the abuse of children and the elderly is a rampant one ... it is everywhere. We are going to do what we can to approach the legislature to look at amending the minimum prescribed sentences for these matters that affect our women‚” Dlamini added.
On Thursday the court heard that the 23-year-old had been previously convicted for assault‚ the conviction placed on record by Prosecutor Khanyi Gcwabaza. The matter was adjourned for a formal bail application on May 17.
The slaying of Khumalo‚ a quantity surveying student‚ brought to the fore issues of gender violence and femicide as debate on social media swirled.
Mzolo is alleged to have signed in at a security post under a false name before forcing his way into Khumalo’s room. The pair had been in a relationship earlier‚ but had parted ways prior to their argument.
Mzolo’s attorney‚ Charl Claassen‚ said that his client was being treated unfairly.
“It is worth remembering that my client has not yet been convicted and until that point remains an innocent man. We understand that there is a certain political agenda in this matter and we will limit ourselves to dealing with the facts only‚” he said.