‘He messed with the wrong family,’ says relative of Kwasa Zozo

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‘He messed with the wrong family,’ says relative of Kwasa Zozo

Protesters have demanded that the man accused of the student’s murder be sentenced to life without parole

Iavan Pijoos, Gugu Phandle, Lulamile Feni and Mfundo Piliso
Viwe Rulumeni has been accused of killing Asithandile 'Kwasa’ Zozo.
In the dock Viwe Rulumeni has been accused of killing Asithandile 'Kwasa’ Zozo.
Image: Lulamile Feni

The mother and father of  Wits University student Asithandile “Kwasa” Zozo were still reeling from shock on Thursday when the 22-year-old man accused of her brutal murder — in front of her 11-year-old sister — appeared in court. 

Protesters, in black and carrying placards, gathered outside the court in Dutywa in the Eastern Cape to demand the alleged killer remain in custody.

The 20-year-old first-year biology student was stabbed to death on Monday. Her alleged killer, Viwe Rulumeni, was admitted to Butterworth Hospital after an alleged overdose.

Zozo’s uncle, Simo Lugalo, said the trauma was indescribable.

“He came to the house and did this in front of this little girl, who was in the house. My sister was at work and she came back to see her child covered in blood. Her wounds were too deep. Doctors couldn’t help her because she suffered a fatal blow, which destroyed some of her arteries.

“He took someone special from our family. Asithandile’s mother is in a bad state. We are supporting her with everything we can,” said Lugalo.

Wits University first-year student Asithandile 'Kwasa' Zozo was stabbed to death on Monday.
future leader Wits University first-year student Asithandile 'Kwasa' Zozo was stabbed to death on Monday.
Image: Supplied

Khaya Sodlala, one of the protesters, said: “There must be no bail, he must face the music. He must be sentenced to life without parole. 

“She was a brilliant girl, a future leader. She was brilliant in debates and very creative.”

More than 1,000 people marched through the streets of Dutywa to demand the man accused of killing Asithandile 'Kwasa' Zozo remain in custody.
no more More than 1,000 people marched through the streets of Dutywa to demand the man accused of killing Asithandile 'Kwasa' Zozo remain in custody.
Image: Lulamile Feni

A relative of Zozo’s, Sinesipho Mniki, said they were devastated.

“We won’t let our sister’s spirit be a sacrifice. We need to break the silence and stand up and fight. The perpetrator messed with the wrong family this time, we won’t stand for it.”

Mniki, who was at the march, said Zozo was instrumental in organising protests in Dutywa after the killing a year ago of University of Cape Town student Uyinene Mrwetyana, who also hailed from the Eastern Cape. Mrwetyana was 19 when she was killed by post office worker Luyanda Botha, who received three life sentences.

“Kwasa was a young, brilliant woman who had goals and dreams. She was an activist and a future leader of our country,” said Mniki.

“She would encourage young people and had a lot of capacity to do a lot of things.”

TRIBUTE | Asithandile “Kwasa” Lugalo's friends remember her

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Zozo’s father, Mzulungile Zozo, said it was cruel twist of fate that his daughter was at home in Dutywa.

“If it wasn’t for this coronavirus pandemic, my child wouldn’t have been home, she would have been at school. But she had to come home and continue her studies virtually,” he told DispatchLIVE.

Her sister, Odwa, celebrated her 11th birthday on Sunday. Another young relative was with her when Zozo was slain in front of them.

Odwa has barely been able to sleep since.

“My daughter loved her family. She was a unique person. She was patient, relatable and a good problem-solver. My daughter was a good person,” Mzulungile said, adding that she had always wanted to be a doctor.

“My child was so excited about these prospects that she once said to me, ‘Dad, by 2020 I’ll be at Wits University to study medicine. If not, then science.' She was so determined.” 


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