Alleged MUT student murderer to stand trial in October

The accused is alleged to have gunned down the student in front of her roommate.

Thabani Mzolo, the man accused of shooting to death Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) student, Zolile Khumalo, is set to stand trial at the Durban High Court from 8 to 12 October.

The 24-year-old Mzolo made a brief appearance at the Durban Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday morning.

He is accused of killing 21-year-old Khumalo, a first-year quantity surveying student, inside her Lonsdale residence room on 1 May, and then, through a series of obscure social media posts, is believed to have confessed.

The court heard that 20 witnesses would be called throughout the duration of the trial.

The state has alleged that Khumalo ended the relationship she had with Mzolo in March or April this year. According to the indictment: “The termination of the relationship was not accepted by the accused. He decided to kill her.”

Spurned by his former partner, Mzolo allegedly made his way to the off-campus residence, situated near the city centre, and gained entry after sending another student to check that Khumalo was in her room.

Mzolo is alleged to have gunned down Khumalo in front of her roommate and the student who checked if she was in her room.

“The accused confronted the deceased, reprimanded her for making a fool of him. He drew the firearm from his bag and fired shots at the deceased, fatally wounding her,” according to the indictment.

The gun used in the killing was a nine-millimetre calibre that had its serial number removed. Mzolo also, according to the indictment, had in his possession three live rounds of ammunition.

At his first appearance, Mzolo garnered the wrath of students and community members for consistently grinning for photographers and appearing to make a trigger sign when leaving the courtroom, which was captured by journalists.

Speaking to African News Agency (ANA) on Wednesday, Mzolo’s attorney, Charl Claassen, said that he was still negotiating with the State on behalf of his client. “His charge is premeditated murder but we want to negotiate for murder,” he said.

Mzolo, who remains in Westville Prison, was “doing very well” according to Claassen.

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