Spurned lover’s shock ‘con­fes­sion’ on so­cial me­dia

Sunday Times - - News Femicide - By JEFF WICKS and LWANDILE BHENGU

● The last time Princess Khu­malo heard her daugh­ter Zolile’s voice was early on Tues­day when she called to wish the quan­tity-sur­vey­ing stu­dent well for a test.

A few hours later the 21-year-old Man­go­suthu Univer­sity of Tech­nol­ogy stu­dent lay in a pool of blood at the Lons­dale stu­dent res­i­dence in cen­tral Dur­ban.

Po­lice ar­rested Zolile’s for­mer boyfriend Tha­bani Mzolo, 23, on Tues­day night in con­nec­tion with her death.

In a bizarre Face­book post Mzolo ap­par­ently wrote, in Zulu: “Ev­ery­thing has turned into me­mories. If I could I would wake you up so we can talk and fix our mis­takes. Un­for­tu­nately she left me be­fore I could tell her that I for­gave her.”

The Face­book pro­file was not in Mzolo’s name but had his pic­tures.

In replies to com­ments on the post, Mzolo ap­par­ently wrote: “I killed my Zozo . . . if only I had stayed at home and cooled off things wouldn’t be like this.”

The post has since been re­moved.

Zolile, who was Khu­malo’s youngest child, was the sixth of her chil­dren to have died, leav­ing only one re­main­ing child, a daugh­ter. The rest of the sib­lings had died of ill­nesses, Khu­malo said.

She told the Sun­day Times on Fri­day that she would never for­get her last con­ver­sa­tion with Zolile.

“I had called her to wish her good luck for the test she was study­ing for the next day. She told me she was tak­ing a study break and that was the last time I ever heard from her.”

Khu­malo said the first she learnt of Mzolo was af­ter her daugh­ter’s death.

He was re­manded in cus­tody on Wednes­day af­ter caus­ing a furore dur­ing his first court ap­pear­ance in the Dur­ban Mag­is­trate’s Court by sig­nalling the pulling of a trig­ger as he was led to the hold­ing cells.

“I didn’t know him [Mzolo], I didn’t even know his name. She didn’t say any­thing about him, which I think is nor­mal . . . I wouldn’t ex­pect her to speak about her boyfriends with me,” Khu­malo said.

In a What­sApp con­ver­sa­tion, Zolile told a friend she had ended her re­la­tion­ship with Mzolo.

“We will bury you soon,” her friend re­sponded.

Big dreams come to noth­ing

Khu­malo, 64, said: “She was my youngest child, and now I only have her sis­ter left. She is the sixth child of mine that I will have buried. Zolile had such big dreams. She wanted to do right by me and the fam­ily and ren­o­vate the house. She would point at pass­ing cars and say when she was done with school she would buy one for me. She loved her fam­ily so much.”

Khu­malo said she con­tin­ued to brood about Zolile’s visit to the fam­ily home last week­end — the last time she saw her daugh­ter alive.

The young woman’s death has again cast the spot­light on gen­der-based vi­o­lence in South Africa, with news of her killing break­ing on the day Sandile Mantsoe was found guilty of the 2017 mur­der of his girl­friend Karabo Mokoena.

Zolile’s death prompted an out­cry from the stu­dent com­mu­nity over what they said was inad­e­quate se­cu­rity at stu­dent ac­com­mo­da­tion.

The own­ers of the Lons­dale res­i­dence this week in­stalled metal de­tec­tors at the en­trances and im­posed a ban on vis­i­tors.

The univer­sity is now prob­ing how Mzolo, who was not a stu­dent at the in­sti­tu­tion, was ap­par­ently able to gain ac­cess to the res­i­dence af­ter vis­it­ing hours with a firearm.

Zolile was buried in Eshowe yes­ter­day.

Clock­wise, from left, Zolile Khu­malo;pos­ing with her for­mer boyfriend Tha­bani Mzolo; Khu­malo’s What­sApp con­ver­sa­tion say­ing she broke up; Mzolo’s Face­book post ; and Princess Khu­malo weeps for her daugh­ter.

Pic­ture: Jackie Clausen

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