Prince Zulu gets jail term, fines, loses driver’s licence

2010-08-27 00:00

PROMINENT Durban businessman Prince Sifiso Zulu was yesterday sentenced to a total of five years’ imprisonment and fines totalling R7 500 in connection with an accident that claimed the lives of two churchgoers.

His driver’s licence was also rescinded, meaning he will never be able to drive a vehicle again.

Regional magistrate Thomas Nhleko said the sentences must serve as a deterrent, pointing out that a previous R1 500 fine for reckless driving in 2006 did not have the desired effect.

As he left court, Zulu told reporters: “This case is far from over.”

His bail was extended and his advocate, Thabani Masuku, gave notice of his intention to appply for leave to appeal.

Dudu Ngema, one of the members of the Soul’s Harbour church who was injured when their bakkie was hit by a BMW X5 driven at high speed by Zulu on March 29, 2008, commented: “It makes me very angry that he walked out of court laughing.”

After the accident, Zulu left the scene and called his friend, Police Commissioner General Bheki Cele (at the time, the KZN transport MEC).

Cele arrived at the scene and later arranged for Zulu to hand himself over to police.

Nhleko said Zulu was guilty of gross negligence because he drove at speed through a red light in rainy weather after he had been drinking all day.

Prosecutor Mark Dyson asked that the sentence should make it clear that rich and influential people cannot get off scot-free.

Zulu maintained that he was not driving the BMW. Nhleko found that he told blatant lies, and found him guilty in April of culpable homicide, reckless or negligent driving, and of failing to perform the duties of a driver after an accident.

Zulu received a total of five years’ imprisionment, with two years suspended for three years. He was fined for leaving the scene of an accident, driving an unregistered vehicle, displaying an incorrect registration number and driving under the influence of alcohol.

He offered to pay compensation to the victims’ families, but Nhleko said they could seek compensation through the courts.

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