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NPA rejects claims of memory loss in Mthethwa case

Artist Zwelethu Mthethwa was found guilty of beating to death Nokuphila Kumalo in Cape Town in 2013.

Zwelethu Mthethwa in court. Picture: Xolani Koyana/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has rejected a psychologist’s finding that the artist convicted of killing a sex worker has memory loss.

Testifying in mitigation of sentence, clinical psychologist Martin Yodaiken suggested the court impose non-custodial punishment on Zwelethu Mthethwa.

The artist was found guilty of beating to death Nokuphila Kumalo in Cape Town in 2013.

Yodaiken told the court Mthethwa was prone to blackouts after drinking alcohol and suggested this is what happened on the night of the murder.

But prosecutor Christenus van der Vijver put it to Yodaiken that the court had rejected Mthethwa’s memory loss argument as fabrication.

He told him he found it strange that someone could stomp another person 62 times and not recall such a violent act.

The prosecutor told the court a non-custodial sentence would be a slap on the wrist and send the wrong message to the public.

Van der Vijver also made it clear the State would call for a harsh sentence because it had a responsibility to protect the most vulnerable in society.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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