Laptop cable was still wrapped around student’s neck, court told

Lee-Anne Butler

AN investigator who arrived at the residence of a Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) student who was allegedly murdered in a jealous rage by her married lover said the laptop charger cable used to strangle her was still wrapped around her neck.

Constable Luvuyo Maneli was testifying in the Port Elizabeth High Court trial of Pretoria high school teacher Mutshutshu Milton Muvhango, 31. He is charged with murder and theft and has pleaded not guilty.

The state alleges he murdered first-year civil engineering student Tshepiso Glenda Sithole, 19, with whom Muvhango, a married father of two, was having an affair.

They began a relationship in Pretoria where Muvhango was a teacher at Sithole’s high school, the indictment says.

After the murder, Muvhango returned to Pretoria where he resigned from his teaching job. He was eventually arrested after a two- month nationwide manhunt.

During June 2011 he allegedly visited Sithole at her student accommodation in Summerstrand. During the visit, the state alleges that Muvhango accused Sithole of seeing another man, and then strangled her with the cable.

He took her cellphone, the state says.

Her body was found nearly a week later after her father had asked the owner of her rented room to check if she was home. Maneli, then based at the Criminal Record Centre at Mount Road, said he arrived at the scene at Homery Place at around 7.35pm. The scene was cordoned off and entry was restricted.

Maneli said as he was walking up the stairs to Sithole’s room he could already smell a body in a stage of decomposition.

“The deceased was lying on the floor with the bed next to her. On the opposite side of the room was the window as well as a desk and chair. I noted what looked like a laptop charger or another charger of some sort wrapped around her neck. There was also some bruising,” he said.

Maneli said he then took crime scene photographs and also removed items from the room in sealed bags for DNA analysis.

Some of the items included a half-eaten chocolate bar and a condom which was retrieved from the rubbish bin.

The matter continues today.

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