Gun used to murder MUT student Zolile Khumalo was illegal, court hears

19 November 2019 - 17:46 By LWANDILE BHENGU AND DANA OSBORN
MUT student Zolile Khumalo was murdered in her university residence in May 2018. File photo.
MUT student Zolile Khumalo was murdered in her university residence in May 2018. File photo.

The firearm that was used in the murder of Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) student Zolile Khumalo had no serial number.

This was revealed in the Durban high court on Tuesday during the testimony of warrant officer Megan Pistorius, a SAPS crime scene examiner who responded to the scene where Khumalo was shot at her university residence in central Durban.

“The firearm did not have a serial number and there were five cartridges in the magazine,” said Pistorius.

Khumalo was allegedly gunned down by her ex-boyfriend Thabani Mzolo after he entered her room at the Lonsdale student residence in May last year.

She died as a result of gunshot wounds to her head and chest. Mzolo was arrested shortly after.

Pistorius described to the court the scene she found when she was called out to the residence in the early hours of May 2 2018.

“I found the deceased lying near the entrance of the room. She was surrounded by blood. The firearm was on a table that was attached to the wall,” she said.

After examining the scene, Pistorius tested Khumalo's roommate Nosipho Bhengu and a Smiso Buthelezi for gunpowder residue. They are alleged to have been in the room when Khumalo was killed.

She then went to Point police station, where she tested Mzolo for gunpowder residue.

Earlier on Tuesday, Mzolo’s lawyer Bonokwakhe Dlamini concluded his cross-examination of Bhengu. Describing the sequence of events leading up to Khumalo’s death, Dlamini said Khumalo and Mzolo’s relationship had turned sour, leading to their break-up two days prior to her death.

On Monday Dlamini disputed Bhengu's version of events, saying that Khumalo and Mzolo were no longer in a relationship and Bhengu had tried to end the relationship after she misinterpreted a message she saw on Mzolo's phone. 

"You took a picture of a conversation between the accused and another female person. When you read that message, your impression was that the accused was having a relationship with another person," said Dlamini. 

The matter will resume with Pistorius's cross-examination on Wednesday.