Nzimande, barefoot and dressed in shorts, a white T-shirt and looking confused, made his first appearance in the Pinetown Magistrate’s Court yesterday after being arrested on Saturday. He has been charged with murder.
Nzimande, from Ntuzuma, walked into the dock and looked at those seated in the gallery. When asked if he would need the services of a Legal Aid lawyer or could pay for private legal representation, he asked the court if he could speak to his family first.
Seeing that no one from his family was in court, he said: “How come my family is not here? The police have the responsibility to inform my family; they are all idiots. I have rights. This is not a fair game.”
Nzimande’s brother, who was seated in the gallery behind him, was given an opportunity to speak to him. On his return to the dock, Nzimande said he needed the services of a Legal Aid lawyer.
While the drama unfolded, the Zondi brothers, who sat directly behind Nzimande, listened quietly, some in tears.
Outside court, the brothers, who had travelled from KwaSwayimane, outside Pietermaritzburg, said they did not believe that such evil existed.
“We are too distraught to speak about what happened. The family is traumatised.
“He (Zondi) was doing his final year. I for one have not slept since we got the news. We would like an opportunity to mourn in private and we will comment once we have come to terms with our loss,” said one of the brothers.
The court was packed with UKZN students who had participated in the search and were at the scene where the body was found. They said they were still shocked by the incident.
When proceedings ended, Nzimande muttered to himself as the police escorted him down to the holding cells.
Concerned students had launched a search after Nzimande had allegedly intimated he had killed him because he believed that Zondi had bewitched him.
Nzimande was found by students while burning Zondi’s body on Saturday night. According to witnesses, students chased him, while others tried to stop the body from burning the body further.
He handed himself over to campus security guards and was arrested and charged with murder.
Nzimande is expected to appear in court again next Monday for a bail application.