Sifiso Zulu is a fugitive from justice - his attempts at evading jail have been exhausted and a warrant of arrest was issued yesterday evening.
KZN police said late last night that they were “hoping to execute the warrant over the weekend” – should they find Zulu.
However, questions are now being asked whether Zulu will pull a “Blue Light Stalker” runner, and evade police and a prison sentence by disappearing.
Zulu was convicted on two counts of culpable homicide for the deaths in 2008 of Nonjabulo Ncube and Hlengiwe Yvonne Dlamini, for reckless or negligent driving, failing to stop at a red traffic light, failing to stop after an accident and of driving under the influence of alcohol.
Zulu pleaded not guilty, denying he was the driver of his BMW X5 at the time of the accident.
He is facing a three-year prison sentence, and a protracted legal battle by his legal team to keep him out of jail failed yesterday morning.
Last Friday, Zulu’s appeal of his conviction was dismissed by Judge Piet Koen in the Pietermaritzburg High Court, and on Wednesday, his legal team filed papers in the Pietermaritzburg High Court for his R15 000 bail to be extended, and he was then given 48-hours notice to surrender to prison authorities.
Zulu had until 10.30am yesterday to hand himself over to the police to begin serving his sentence.
In terms of the conditions of his bail pending appeal, National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokeswoman Natasha Ramkisson said Zulu was meant to surrender himself to the clerk of the court at the Durban Magistrate’s Court yesterday.
However, instead of reporting to the Durban court, Zulu and his lawyer, Lonwabo Dandala, arrived at the Pietermaritzburg High Court to make an urgent application for an extension of his bail as well for the notice to surrender/warrant of arrest to be stayed.
“The application was dismissed by Judge Koen,” said Ramkisson.
The warrant of arrest has been signed and is in the possession of police, said police spokesman Col Jay Naicker.
“ Hopefully the police will be executing it over the weekend, depending on whether we find him.”
However, the delay has prompted questions over whether this would give Zulu time to do a “Blue Light Stalker”.
Ismail Sheik, dubbed the “Blue Light Stalker” is wanted by the police after he escaped during the 72-hour gap he was given in which to report to prison, at the end of December 2010.
Sheik, a former Durban police reservist, was convicted in 2007 on two counts of indecent assault, kidnapping and defeating the ends of justice.
He had preyed on young women and demanded sexual favours in return for letting them go.
Sheik had his application to reinstate his appeal against his jail sentence refused at the Pietermaritzburg High Court. He was given 72 hours to hand himself over to the investigating officer, the commander in charge of this officer or the registrar of the court, but failed to do so. He has been missing since.
The DA’s Dianne Kohler Barnard said: “One has to question why there is a delay in executing the warrant of arrest for Zulu. It has been a comedy of errors from the beginning”.
She said, for some reason, the justice system has been failing the families of the people killed by Zulu.
“He is a convicted criminal and somehow an exception is being made for him,” she said.
Kohler Barnard said there was no reason why Zulu would not do the same thing as Ismail Sheik had done. “I am outraged at what happened with the Ismail Sheik case. He was allowed to go home, and there is nothing to suggest that the same won’t happen here,” said Kohler Barnard, adding the police did not work 9am to 5pm jobs. They worked around the clock to execute their duties.
The NPA said Zulu’s legal avenues were that he had the option to appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal.
“An application for leave to appeal will be heard by the Pietermaritzburg High Court on May 18. If the application is unsuccessful, Zulu can then petition the Judge President of the Supreme Court of Appeal,” said Ramkisson.