Celebrated SA artist accused of beating woman to death
In news that has shocked South Africa’s art community, renowned artist Zwelethu Mthethwa has appeared in court after having been arrested for allegedly beating a woman to death in Cape Town earlier this year.
The 52-year-old artist is internationally celebrated, having shown over 50 solo exhibitions of his colourful large format photographs and paintings around the world.
According to Die Burger yesterday, Mthethwa was arrested for murder on May 5 after being captured on closed circuit camera hitting and kicking a woman to death on the street in Woodstock on April 13.
Police spokesperson FC van Wyk confirmed to the paper that Mthethwa allegedly stopped his car, climbed out and walked over to the woman, possibly a sex worker, and started hitting her repeatedly. He was also identified by an eye witness, said Van Wyk.
Mthethwa reportedly appeared the next day in the Cape Town Magistrates’ Court, where he was granted bail of R100 000.
A young star at Michaelis School of Fine Art at the University of Cape Town, Mthethwa was awarded a Fullbright scholarship and went on to lecture at the university.
He left academia in 1999 to concentrate on his art career. He is represented by the Everard Read Gallery in Johannesburg and the Brundyn + Gonsalves Gallery in Cape Town.
He is also in the stable of the Jack Shainman Gallery in New York, where he held a critically acclaimed exhibition earlier this year.
The case has been postponed until August 26.