William Booth and Zwelethu Mthethwa leaving the Western Cape High Court in in Cape Town on June 1, 2015. Photo: Nardus Engelbrecht

South African Galleries Refuse to Show Work by Convicted Murderer Zwelethu Mthethwa

Following a court ruling last month that found photographer Zwelethu Mthethwa guilty of murder, several galleries and auction houses in South Africa have decided not to display or sell his work, Andrew Robertson of IOL reports.

“In a recent board meeting, the directors of Strauss & Co decided that the company would not be auctioning works by Zwelethu Mthethwa until further notice,” said Bina Genovese, the marketing and advertising officer of the auction house.

Mthethwa was convicted of killing the twenty-three-year-old sex worker Nokuphila Kumalo in 2013. His attorney, William Booth, recently postponed sentencing since he has been denied access to the prison and was unable to have a clinical psychologist and social worker meet with Mthethwa.

The artist remains in custody after two failed bail applications. “I am going to be applying for leave to appeal against his conviction once he is sentenced,” Booth said. “I will also be applying for bail to be fixed for him, pending the finalization of his appeal.” The lawyer added that the artist hopes to continue making art while in prison, but believes he may face an “uphill battle.”