Eastern Cape cop gets 24 years in jail for murdering estranged wife

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Constable Zandisile Zweni has been sentenced to 24 years in jail for murder.
Constable Zandisile Zweni has been sentenced to 24 years in jail for murder.
The Witness
  • An Eastern Cape police officer has been imprisoned for murdering his estranged wife.
  • He shot her during an argument at their son's school.
  • The judge sentenced him to 24 years in prison.

An Eastern Cape police officer has been jailed for the murder of his estranged wife.

The Eastern Cape High Court in East London sentenced Constable Zandisile Zweni, 47, to 24 years in prison for the 2018 murder of 36-year-old Andiswa Zweni. The officer, who was stationed at the Kidds Beach police station, committed the murder at Voorpos Primary School in East London on 22 June 2018.

The couple was separated at the time of the murder.

Zandisile pleaded guilty to the murder in November 2019, and the case was postponed to January 2020 for sentencing proceedings, regional National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Anelisa Ngcakani said.

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"During sentencing proceedings, however, Zandisile changed his legal team, and when he gave evidence in mitigation of sentence, he stated that he did not have the intention to kill his wife and that he did not remember some details of that fateful day as he was not in his right mind. Consequently, the court changed his plea to not guilty," Ngcakani added.

Zandisile was sent for mental observation at Fort England Psychiatric Hospital. A panel found that he was mentally fit when he committed the murder.

Judge Bantubonke Tokota found him guilty of murder on Tuesday.

"In his initial guilty plea, Zandisile stated that Andiswa was verbally abusive towards him and that it was her verbal abuse which provoked him to murder her. He said that they had an argument when he went to Voorpos to fetch their son's school report. When he arrived at the school, he was told to return later as the staff was in a meeting," Ngcakani said.

Zandisile then went to Cambridge High School to fetch their daughter's report.

READ | Western Cape man accused of killing girlfriend’s son to remain behind bars

"He stated that he then informed his wife through a text message that he had collected their daughter's report. Zandisile said that while he was on his way back to Voorpos, Andiswa called him and insulted him for fetching their daughter's report. He said that he was deeply disturbed and hurt by this," Ngcakani said.

The two met at Voorpos and an argument ensued.

"Zandisile lost his temper as a result of her alleged insults and shot her dead. He was arrested by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate," Ngcakani said.

Tokota stated during sentencing that Zandisile had shown remorse for murdering his wife and had asked his children to forgive him.

"Judge Tokota said that his remorse and prospects for rehabilitation were substantial and compelling circumstances for him to deviate from sentencing [Zandisile] to the prescribed minimum sentence of life imprisonment for premeditated murder," Ngcakani added.

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