Dad felt girl was 'in good hands'
THE father of an 18-year-old girl who was allegedly raped and murdered by her boyfriend said in court yesterday that he had accepted the boyfriend and had believed his daughter was in good hands.
The boyfriend, Thato Kutumela, 26, was also the father of Zanele Khumalo's unborn child.
She was five months pregnant when she was strangled at her parents' home in Garsfontein, Pretoria, in April last year.
Kutumela faces charges of murder, rape and robbery. He pleaded not guilty to the charges in the high court in Pretoria yesterday.
Zanele's father Themba Khumalo said he met Kutumela seven months before his daughter's murder and that Kutumela was her date at her matric dance in August.
"He said he wanted a good future with my daughter. I felt my daughter was in good hands and I accepted him as my daughter's boyfriend. I also told him that I loved my children and I would not like her to be hurt," Khumalo said.
He said he learnt in January that his daughter was pregnant.
In his affidavit before the court, Kutumela said he was on his way to work on the day of the murder but took the wrong taxi and ended up at Zanele's house.
"When I arrived someone had already opened the complex gate and she opened the door for me. We had sex and I left for work."
Judge Johan Kruger postponed the matter to today to rule on the admissibility of some of the state's evidence.
Prosecutor George Baloyi submitted that it was in the interest of justice that hear-say evidence be admitted.
Kutumela's legal representative, Anneke van Wyk, opposed the application, saying the evidence was unreliable.