Slain MUT Student Zolile Khumalo Was A Peaceful Child, Says Family

Zolile Khumalo's family with MUT management outside the Durban Magistrates Court

Family members of the late Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) student Zolile Khumalo said they are shocked by their daughter’s alleged killer’s behavior in court, following the accused pulled a zap sign to journalists in front of the magistrate.

Speaking outside the Durban Magistrate’s Court on Thursday, Zolile’s grandmother Wathi Khumalo said that she hasn’t been able to sleep since the death. She said that the accused, Thabani Mzolo, did not seem to be remorseful for his actions.

“I’m still baffled by his disrespectful nature. I had hoped to see something different in him today. I thought by this time he would show accountability for his action but the way he carried himself, it proved to us that he killed my child with intent,” she said.

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Khumalo also said that her granddaughter did not deserve to die in such a gruesome manner.

“Zolile was a kind and peaceful child who comes from a praying family. The way she was killed shows to us that her killer had no regard for her. Even the way he has been acting since the incident, it’s clear that to him it’s as though he killed an animal and not a human being,” Khumalo said.

Thabani Mzolo appeared before the magistrate Mohamed Motala and prosecutor Calvin Govender read out the state’s list of charges against Mzolo. He is expected to appear in court on 19 June for his formal bail application.

“The state will allege that murder was premeditated. The state will allege that the accused shot the victim twice and as she lay on the ground he kicked her twice,” Govender said.

Zolile Khumalo’s brother Mlamuli Zibane said the family wants to know the whereabouts of the person who helped the accused gain access to the residence.

“We want to know why those who helped him gain access to the premises haven’t been arrested yet. My sister was being abused and nobody knew about it. We have so many unanswered questions,” he said.

The deputy minister of police Bongani Mkongi expressed his disappointment with the accused’s behavior at the court, saying that it shows that the accused is not remorseful.

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“By virtue of showing the people of South Africa the middle finger, it tells us that he is prepared to kill again and he doesn’t respect anyone. He is in the court of law, still on the dock, and then he is showing the magistrate the middle finger,” he said.

Mkongi also said the killing of women was becoming fashionable. Asked if he was satisfied with how the matter is being handled, he said he was happy with the postponement of the case to 19 June, and that the accused will remain remanded in custody.

“He is still going to go down the drain for the whole month and we are still going to oppose the bail. He deserves many years because it means he is still going to kill again. My intention is for him to stay in prison for a long time,” he said.

Mzolo also faces charges related to possession of illegal firearm.

Featured image by Lizeka Maduna