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CityPress - - News - BIÉNNE HUIS­MAN bi­enne.huis­man@city­press.co.za

week ago, Eva Ku­malo saw her daugh­ter’s al­leged killer at Mzoli’s, a popular Cape Town eatery in Gugulethu. She was too scared to ap­proach him.

“I saw him, but I could not go and speak to him. I wish I could ask him why. Why did my child have to die in such an ugly, vi­o­lent man­ner? I don’t un­der­stand. What did she do? She did not de­serve to die like that.”

The young woman’s life was cut short at the ten­der age of 23 on April 14 2013, when she was kicked to death in a dark street in Wood­stock – al­legedly by in­ter­na­tion­ally cel­e­brated artist Zwelethu Mthethwa.

Ac­cord­ing to a po­lice charge sheet, CCTV footage shows Mthethwa pulling up next to Nokuphila Ku­malo in a Porsche at 2.40am. He al­legedly started beat­ing her and when she fell to the ground, he stomped on her.

Mthethwa’s mur­der trial started at the West­ern Cape High Court last Mon­day and con­tin­ues to­mor­row.

A pathol­o­gist tes­ti­fied that Nokuphila died of in­ter­nal wounds, par­tic­u­larly a torn liver.

Eva, who is orig­i­nally from Kim­ber­ley in the North­ern Cape, gave birth to Nokuphila on Fe­bru­ary 11 1990 – the day Nel­son Man­dela was re­leased from pri­son.

“I was about to give birth in the back of an am­bu­lance when I heard on the ra­dio about Man­dela be­ing re­leased from pri­son,” says Eva.

So, the new mother named her baby Nokuphila.

Soon af­ter Nokuphila’s birth, Eva moved to Cape Town. Nokuphila joined her mother there when she was seven years old.

Eva worked as a griller at Sad­dles in Ta­ble View to pay Nokuphila’s school fees at Intshinga Pri­mary School in Gugulethu, where the young­ster played net­ball and sang in a choir.

Nokuphila’s pet name was Ntombie. She loved cheese­cake and dreamt of be­com­ing a doc­tor. But Nokuphila never fin­ished school. Cape Town sex work­ers have con­firmed that she lived in the cen­tral-city sub­urb of

PHOTO: EDREA DU TOIT

Zwelethu Mthethwa is ac­cused of killing 23-year-old Nokuphila Ku­malo

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