Killer rage over incest

2011-01-21 00:00

HIGH Court Judge Kevin Swain yesterday refused to grant bail to the branch commander of Mtunzini’s police station, Lieutenant Colonel Emily Zodwa Zulu (39) who is charged with shooting dead her sister-in-law and attempting to murder two other family members in Nongoma on September 13 last year.

According to her own admissions during one of her earlier bail applications, the incident was sparked by her husband’s revelation that he’d had “sexual relations” with his sister, causing her to realise why she’d had an “unhappy life” for the past seven years. Despite indicating that she would admit shooting her sister-in-law (Cwebile Zulu), Zulu said she intends to plead not guilty to the charges of murder and attempted murder at her trial.

Advocate Dawid Joubert submitted on her behalf yesterday that it seems likely she will raise a psychiatric defence. Judge Swain ruled that she had not shown exceptional circumstances warranting her bail. He said a fear expressed by the investigating officer, Smalise Nkwanyana, that Zulu might decide to eliminate the only competent eyewitness in the case (her mother-in-law, Dumazile Zulu) was reasonable in view of what Zulu had shown herself to be capable of.

The judge noted that on leaving the homestead Zulu allegedly remarked; “I’m not finished yet”, which she did not dispute. She allegedly drove 200 km from Mtunzini to Emahashini, Nongoma, went to her sister-in-law’s home, knocked on the door and when it was not opened for her she began shooting “randomly” at the door with her service firearm. She allegedly went round the house to the windows and fired several shots, smashing the windows.

She then climbed through one of the broken windows to make sure that the person she intended to kill was dead, the investigating officer testified. The judge dismissed as “pure speculation” a submission that Zulu’s suspension by the SAPF might be lifted and she could return to work if given bail.

Other grounds offered in support of her appeal were that she was hospitalised for depression and needed to consult with psychiatrists, that her young child who was still being breast-fed was suffering from diarrhoea and that her husband — a police captain — could afford to pay only half of their house bond. In addition she submitted her husband has filed for divorce and that she was unable to properly defend the action whilst she is in custody. The judge said these were issues that could be resolved. The evidence showed that the child was not seriously ill and was receiving care, and arrangements could be made for Zulu to consult psychiatrists in prison.

According to the records of the bail application, the investigating officer said it was lucky the other victims were not killed by Zulu. He revealed her firearm “had a stoppage” and had it not been for that she could have “killed all of them,” he said.

Zulu is charged with murdering Cwebile Zulu, and attempted murders of Khulekani Zulu (age unknown) and her mother-in-law, Dumazile Zulu. Describing the events that she could remember at her last bail hearing, Zulu said her husband told her the day before that he’d had sexual relations with his sister and that he was ashamed.

“Then it appeared to me as to why for seven years I had not lived a happy life,” she said

She decided to confront her sister-in-law and drove to Nongoma. When she knocked at the door her sister-in-law would not open. “She told me to leave, her brother is divorcing me. She insulted me by calling me Jezebel,” she said.

“I got angrier … I remember kicking the door. The door would not open. I remember shooting the door wanting to enter. I do not remember how I finally entered the house but what I remember was the deceased lying down near a wardrobe … I got a fright,” she said.

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