NFP councillor makes self-defence plea

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IOL pics Nov9 sheizi Siya Dlamini, an Inkatha Freedom Party member was shot outside the Ntuzuma Magistrate's Court in full view of police and television cameras. Picture: Independent Newspapers

Durban - An eThekwini councillor charged with killing an IFP member in full view of police and journalists says he fired at the man to protect himself.

Mzonjani Zulu, a member of the National Freedom Party, is charged with the October 15 murder of Siya Dlamini outside the Ntuzuma Magistrate’s Court.

On Wednesday, Zulu was granted bail in the Durban Regional Court after he gave a blow-by- blow account of the events that led up to Dlamini’s death. He said he fired two shots in self-defence after Dlamini lunged at him with a spear.

“There were no police officers around to stop him. I tried to pull out my firearm, but it got stuck in my pocket.

“When I got it out, I pointed it at him and I ordered him not to come closer. But he continued to advance… I fired a warning shot, but he kept coming… so I fired again. I shot because I thought I was going to be killed.”

Zulu’s advocate, Mdu Mvuni, said video footage obtained from SABC news corroborated his client’s version of the incident.

Prosecutor Blackie Swart said it was not in the interests of justice to release Zulu on bail.

He added that witnesses, including a police officer, contradicted Zulu’s testimony in their statements.

 

Zulu disputed this, saying the video footage would confirm his version of events.

Investigating officer Lieutenant Michael Goge, of the political murders task team, testified that he feared that Zulu would be killed if he was released.

 

Magistrate Trevor Levitt asked Goge why he had not obtained the television news video footage of the murder.

He said there was no legislation preventing a person from being released on bail because his life might be in danger.

“The court is surprised that the video footage of the crime taken by two news channels has not been obtained by the police as this would be the most impartial evidence.”

 

He granted bail of R5 000 to Zulu and ordered him to stay out of Ntuzuma.

The case was adjourned to February 8 for a decision on whether or not the trial should be heard in the Durban High Court. - The Mercury



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