Sifiso to be set free next week

2013-02-19 00:00

DURBAN businessman Sifiso Zulu, who was responsible for the deaths of two students in an accident in 2008, is going to be a free man next week.

Ten other people were injured when Zulu crashed his BMW X5 into a bakkie carrying 12 members of the Soul’s Harbour Ministries Church in Durban five years ago.

KwaZulu-Natal Correctional Services commissioner Mnikelwa Nxele said Zulu had applied for special remission of his 36-month sentence.

“When he arrived in prison, the president [Jacob Zuma] had just announced that all prisoners will be given a six-month remission to their sentences, while those who had committed non-violent crimes would get an additional 12 months,” Nxele told The Witness.

That meant that Zulu’s sentence was cut in half — to 18 months — and he became eligible for parole after serving just nine months.

Nxele said the decision to grant parole was at the discretion of the independent parole board and victims did not have to be involved.

He added that he believed Zulu had become a “changed man” in prison.

“If you remember, he went to prison not acknowledging that he had committed the offences.

“But after meeting with our social workers, he admitted that he did in fact commit the offences,” he added.

Zulu made a public confession at a Correctional Services “dialogue” with his victims and their families in Richards Bay in December.

“While in prison, he has complied with all the programmes and has worked with social workers and other offenders …

“I wouldn’t be surprised if he takes an ambassadorial role against drinking and driving,” Nxele said.

He confirmed that Zulu would meet Ngema today. He did not specify where.

Because Zulu was being paroled, he said, it did not mean that he was a free man.

“He will be monitored and he will have certain conditions that will say he must stay away from alcohol and he should be home at a certain time.”

Those conditions would be in place for the next nine months.

“Because the offence committed had alcohol involved, one of the conditions might be a total ban of alcohol,” Nxele said.

While Zulu has been granted parole, it has emerged that one of the victims of the accident was not consulted.

Dudu Ngema (34), of KwaNongoma, said: “I haven’t been told anything about his parole and I have never met him.

“But, he has asked me to meet him tomorrow.”

“I don’t know where the meeting will be.

“I got a call from Correctional Services to tell me that they will pick me up from work tomorrow.

Ngema, who reportedly walks with a stick, told The Witness yesterday she didn’t have a problem with Zulu being granted parole.

“I just want him to come out and admit that he was at fault and caused the accident,” said Ngema.

She was also not considering any legal action following her injuries and said she wanted “this chapter closed”.

“I don’t want anything [compensation].

“I just want this chapter closed so I can move on,” Ngema said.

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