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Family suspect cop of woman's death

By unknown | Jul 18, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Sibongile Mashaba

Sibongile Mashaba

The family of a strangled Soweto woman whose half-naked body was discovered at a street corner on Monday morning is still struggling to come to terms with her death.

A passer-by stumbled on the body of Tholakele Khumalo, 25, in Zondi. She had apparently been raped before she was strangled.

Her family last saw her on Sunday night when she went out but said she did not say where she was going or with whom.

Her sister, Afro-pop musician Winnie Khumalo, said: "We are still trying to come to terms with her death.

"The person we know killed her was released from police custody last night. That is so depressing."

The Khumalo family and Tholakele's friend, Nomthandazo Mkhwanazi, are adamant that a police officer killed her.

They told Sowetan on Monday that the officer owed Tholakele R4000, which he borrowed in April and had not yet paid back.

Mkhwanazi said: "He always promised to pay back the money but never did."

Soweto police spokesman Lindiwe Mbatha said it could not be confirmed whether or not she was raped but police would investigate the possibility.

"We are still waiting for the forensic test results and only then will we be able to say whether she was raped or not," she said.

Mbatha also confirmed that Tholakele had been receiving threats from a certain number. She said her cellphone would be sent to the service provider to determine who the telephone number belonged to.

"We cannot confirm that the number belongs to the police officer but we will find that out once the result come back from her service provider," said Mbatha.


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