Lover in court for officer’s murder

2016-12-20 10:20
Jabulani Sithole appeared in the magistrate’s court on Monday on charges of murdering his policewoman girlfriend, Thabisile Penelope Zondi.

Jabulani Sithole appeared in the magistrate’s court on Monday on charges of murdering his policewoman girlfriend, Thabisile Penelope Zondi. (Ian Carbutt)

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The boyfriend of slain Pietermaritzburg policewoman Thabisile Penelope Zondi appeared in the magistrate’s court on Monday charged with her murder.

Jabulani Emmanuel Sithole (30) of Imbali was granted bail of R1 000 by magistrate M. Boikhutso, who was told by prosecutor Rene Padayachee that the state did not oppose his release.

Padayachee said this was because he was not considered to be a flight risk as he had not run from police after the incident. Instead, he waited with Zondi’s body until police came and arrested him.

Ironically, however, one of the conditions on which Sithole was given bail is that pending his trial he must report twice a week to his nearest police station — Plessislaer — the station where Zondi worked.

Sithole, who is unemployed, appeared barefoot in court but was otherwise neatly dressed in a pair of black jeans and a navy-blue shirt.

According to an affidavit submitted by his legal aid attorney, Nico Kinners, Sithole’s bail will be paid by his parents.

The affidavit also states that Sithole has three minor children who are being cared for by his parents.

Sithole alleged he was the person who called the police and that he had also called another witness to come to the scene of the incident.

Padayachee told the court that according to the information gathered by police, Sithole and Zondi were in a relationship. On the night of the incident — Friday — Sithole allegedly arrived at Zondi’s home and found another man there with her.

“He lost his temper and he attacked the deceased [Zondi] with a pick handle.

“He realised the consequences of his actions and he stayed with her body until the police came and arrested him,” she said.

The Witness reported on Monday that a neighbour of Zondi’s reported that he was woken at about 11.30 pm on Friday evening by the sound of a woman crying and screaming.

Hurrying to the scene, he allegedly saw Zondi’s killer striking her with the handle of a pickaxe in a frenzied attack.

When he allegedly realised that Zondi was dead, the man started crying and reportedly lay next to her body weeping until police came.

After he was granted bail, Sithole’s case was postponed until February 1 for further investigations by police.

Padayachee said the post mortem still had to be conducted and other witnesses still had to make statements to police.

Zondi was described by her colleague, Plessislaer police spokesperson Captain Musa Ntombela, in The Witness, as a “very good” and experienced policewoman.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  police killings

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