Mthethwa not adjusting to Pollsmoor

Zwelethu Mthethwa. Picture credit: ADRIAN DE KOCK
Zwelethu Mthethwa. Picture credit: ADRIAN DE KOCK

Artist Zwelethu Mthethwa’s lawyer‚ William Booth‚ has criticised prison authorities for not granting him enough access to his client‚ who is being held at Pollsmoor Prison in Cape Town.

Last month the Cape Town high court found Mthethwa guilty of murdering sex worker Nokuphila Kumalo in Woodstock four years ago.

On Thursday‚ Booth was due to present evidence in mitigation of his client’s sentence but requested a postponement to May 24. This is because they had hired two experts to compile a report on Mthethwa.

 “We have engaged a social worker as well as a clinical psychologist to present evidence in mitigation of this matter. They have had difficulties in gaining access to Mr Mthethwa who is presently in custody at Pollsmoor prison‚” said Booth.

He said the two have only been able to see Mthethwa once and could not compile their report which will be used to in court to plead for a lesser sentence.

“It’s something that we are taking up with the prison authorities. It’s not the first time that it has happened‚” he said.

He said there were general logistical problems in gaining access to prisoners in South Africa.

“These are very important reports‚ we will be dealing now with mitigation of sentence. Mr Mthethwa has been convicted of murder on the basis of dolus eventualis‚ along the lines of what happened in the Oscar Pistorius matter‚ so there is a potential of a heavy sentence‚” added Booth.

He said his client was considering appealing against the guilty verdict.

“We would have to consider as well‚ applying for bail pending an appeal but that is something for the future. [He has] always been on bail and I strongly believe that he is not a flight risk and will comply with all bail hearings‚” said Booth.

He said things were tough for Mthethwa as conditions were bad in Pollsmoor. Booth said he would take the matter of overcrowding in jails to prison authorities.


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