Zanele Moyo, the daughter of Higher and Tertiary Education Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo bled to her death in her Cape Town apartment bathroom, a dramatic new photograph shows. The shock picture obtained by The Chronicle yesterday reveals a floor smeared with what appears to be a significant amount of blood.
The blood appears to start from the doorway of the bathroom leading to a toilet cubicle. It is the spot where the University of Cape Town student’s lifeless body was found lying face down shortly before midday last Saturday. She was fully clothed, dressed in the same outfit she had been last seen wearing on Wednesday last week – the day her family believes she met her fate.
Her family says despite earlier being told by police that Zanele also had a head injury, the coroner had found no external injuries. A small depression on her forehead, which had become covered in blood, is thought to have misled early police responders.
South African police say the cause of death remains a mystery, but they are tracking two Zambian men, including one Stephen Kenneth Newman Chitobolo, who was the last to be seen with Zanele.
Stephen, according to sources close to the investigation, has become a key person of interest after he used Zanele’s phone last Wednesday evening to call her friend, Nicole Bento, to tell her Zanele was “passing out”. Nicole did not make much of the call, believing her friend had just taken one too many.
Stephen, who was thought to have fled to Zambia, was spotted at the OR Tambo International Airport last night by Zanele’s friend and sister, who were travelling to Zimbabwe. He has told the Moyo family and investigators that he will hand himself in before Friday this week to help detectives piece together Zanele’s final few hours.
The second man, who has been named as Leo Milimo, is thought to have left Cape Town for Johannesburg or Pretoria. Leo, according to Zanele’s friends, introduced Zanele to Stephen three weeks ago after having earlier met her through a mutual friend, Rumbidzai Choto.
As the family digests the distressing new image of the bloodied scene where Zanele drew her last breath, concerns were being raised last night over the pace and course of the police investigation.
The Moyo family has expressed dismay over the handling of the criminal investigation which, apart from Stephen’s account, hinges on a post-mortem and toxicology tests whose results police have now told the family could take up to six weeks.
The family says when Zanele’s body was found on Saturday morning, she was still wearing the same clothes she wore to a dinner date with Stephen on Wednesday evening.
But the family says given all the facts available to them and the police, they were shocked when they received her death certificate on Monday which indicated the date of death as the day her body was found.
Top Harare lawyer Terrence Hussein, who travelled with Prof Moyo to Cape Town on Sunday, yesterday said they were troubled by the lack of forensic inquiry to establish the time of death as expected in criminal investigations.
Hussein told The Chronicle from Cape Town: “The date of death was indicated as the 17th [of October] whereas all the facts point to that the date of death is at least two days prior. The coroner has told us that they didn’t ascertain the date of death because they were not asked to do so by the police.
“All the coroner has done is to put the date of death from what they deduced, rather than what they ascertained. It would’ve been better to ascertain scientifically. It gives you an accurate picture of what took place and also when connecting individuals to a scene.
“Now, if you want to question people they can simply escape by saying they were not there when Zanele died. “You literally immunise all suspects, you give a defence. It is inconsistent with the strict requirements of a criminal investigation, which this one is.”
Dramatising his point, Mr Hussein said “the absurdity of what they have done is the equivalent of discovering someone who died in the Soweto Uprisings in 1976 and putting today as the date of their death simply because the body was found today”.
No comment could be obtained from Western Cape Police yesterday. Meanwhile, Prof Moyo’s daughter, Nokuthula, last night had a shock encounter at the airport with the man suspected to have had a hand in her sister’s death.
Nokuthula was travelling to Zimbabwe from Cape Town via OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg when she came face-to-face with Chitobolo, the last person to see 20-year-old Zanele alive.
Family friend Philip Chiyangwa said Nokuthula, who was travelling with Zanele’s high school friend, Rumbidzai Choto, was shocked to see Stephen, who is being sought by Western Cape Police. Rumbidzai, who introduced Zanele to Stephen’s friend, Leo Milimo, before he in turn introduced her to Stephen, pointed him out.
“What are the chances of Zanele’s sister meeting this man at a very busy airport 1 400km away from the scene where her sister died? I’m not too big on the supernatural, but you must think it’s Zanele’s spirit at work,” Dr Chiyangwa said, adding police were informed of the sighting.