Zulu confesses in tears

2012-12-07 00:00

FORMER Durban socialite Sifiso Zulu choked back tears yesterday when he admitted being drunk and killing two people in an accident four years ago.

“I caused the accident that killed two people in 2008. I was drunk and denied everything until the end.”

Unrepentant during his high-profile trial, it was a remorseful Zulu who spoke at the KZN Victim-Offender Dialogue (VOD) programme launched at Richards Bay Sports Complex by the Department of Correctional Services.

In May, Zulu was sentenced to five years in jail — two suspended — after he was found to be the driver of a car that killed two people and injured 10 in March 2008.

He maintained his innocence and claimed that his friend was the driver of the BMW X5 that slammed into a bakkie carrying members of the Souls’ Harbour Ministries Church at an intersection in Durban.

Zulu said it wasn’t easy for him and his family, who supported him throughout the VOD programme.

“The VOD programme is very important for both the victim and offender because it helps with the healing process,” said Zulu.

Speaking to The Witness, a teary Zulu said social workers helped him to regain his “humanity”.

“Standing in front of the families whose loved ones I killed took a lot of courage. I would like to thank the Dlaminis and Mncubes, who were able to forgive me after hurting them so much,” said Zulu.

Nonhlanhla Mncube, mother of Sdumisile Mncube, a third-year civil engineering student at Mangosuthu University of Technology, who was killed in the accident, said she was happy that after four years she finally got to hear the truth.

“All along I didn’t know who caused the accident that killed my daughter, but in June I got a call from Correctional Services officials, who told me that Zulu wants to talk to me about the accident. I asked them to call me after two months because I wasn’t ready.”

Mncube said she asked the department why Zulu wanted to reconcile, as he had claimed throughout the court case that “he doesn’t have anything to do with the accident”.

“But we finally met Zulu, who admitted that he caused the accident and expressed his condolences to both families. To me that showed that he is also human and we forgave him. My heart is at peace,” said Mncube.

She said that when she heard about the accident, she thought she’d see her daughter in hospital.

“I thought she was only hurt because my brothers didn’t tell me that she had died. When we got to King Edward VIII Hospital, we were told to go to the mortuary; I will never forget that day.”

The other student who died was Hlengiwe Dlamini.

Zulu advised drivers not to drink and drive during the holiday season, “because the consequences are bad, lives are lost”.

The VOD programme is designed to allow the victims of crime and the offenders to meet and reconcile.

Correctional Services Minister Sibusiso Ndebele said victims must be at the centre of the correctional programme.

“The objective of the VOD is to put the victims back at the centre of the correctional system.

“Equally, the offender must be given an opportunity to reflect on his or her wrongs and request forgiveness,” said Ndebele.

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