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02 Feb 2009 13:34
The case against Durban businessman Prince Sifiso Zulu was remanded to the end of February as he had engaged a new legal representative, the Durban Regional Court heard on Monday.
Zulu faced two charges of culpable homicide after a hit-and-run accident in March 2008.
Prosecutor Mark Dyson placed his dissatisfaction on record saying the state was ready to go ahead with the trial on Monday and that witnesses were present at court.
Zulu’s new attorney, known only as W Mahlangulu, said he needed time to prepare for the trial as he was only appointed on Sunday.
Mahlangulu refused to speak to the media or divulge his first name.
He told the court that Zulu’s former attorney had withdrawn from the case and that his client had not been aware of it.
Zulu only found out about the withdrawal after reading a newspaper.
Mahlangulu said he was unable to proceed with the trial as he was awaiting statements and was not clear about the charges his client was facing.
He told the court it would be “clear prejudice” if the trial proceeded.
Magistrate Thomas Nhleko remanded the case to February 25 for the defence to take instruction from the accused, and for a trial date to be set down.
On March 29 2008 Zulu’s BMW X5 was involved in a hit-and-run accident with a Mitsubishi double-cab. Two members of the Soul’s Harbour Ministries Church were killed and 10 others injured.
Zulu was allegedly drunk at the time of the accident and initially denied being the driver of the vehicle.
He was arrested in June 2008 on two charges of culpable homicide and later appeared in court.
He was granted bail of R5 000.
Police, during their investigation, also discovered an outstanding warrant of arrest for Zulu for another drunk driving case in 2006.
Zulu appeared in court in September, months after recovering from injuries sustained when he attempted to commit suicide.
He was admitted to hospital on July 8 last year after jumping off the second floor of his plush penthouse on the Point Waterfront.
Minutes earlier he had stabbed himself in the neck.
He reportedly broke a limb in the fall.
At the time, police spokesperson Director Phindile Radebe said police had gone to Zulu’s flat to arrest him for attempting to defeat the ends of justice by “interfering in the investigation”.
After his hospitalisation, the charge was “provisionally withdrawn”.
His bail was extended.—Sapa
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