MUT student murder: Court hears that accused has assault conviction

Mangosuthu University of Technology students protested as the ex-lover of murdered student Zolile Khumalo appeared in the Durban Regional Court.
Mangosuthu University of Technology students protested as the ex-lover of murdered student Zolile Khumalo appeared in the Durban Regional Court.
Image: THULI DLAMINI

The man accused of the murder of Mangosuthu University of Technology student Zolile Khumalo has a previous assault conviction.

In a tailored blue suit‚ Thabani Mzolo appeared in the Durban Regional Court on Thursday before a packed gallery of police‚ politicians and supporters of Khumalo.

His quiet demeanour was a far cry from his first appearance last week‚ when he grinned and gestured the pulling of triggers as he was led to the cells.

On Thursday Magistrate Mahomed Motala heard that the 23-year-old had been previously convicted for assault and that the residential addresses provided were still in the process of being verified. No further information was given about his assault conviction. The matter was adjourned for a formal bail application on May 17.

The slaying of Khumalo‚ a quantity surveying student‚ reignited a debate around gender violence and femicide on social media.

Mzolo is alleged to have signed in at a security post under a false name before forcing his way into Khumalo’s room. The pair had been in a relationship earlier‚ but had parted ways prior to their argument.

Hundreds of MUT students demonstrated outside the court‚ where they were to be addressed by minister of women Bathabile Dlamini and deputy police minister Bongani Mkongi.

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