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Sifiso Zulu's battle to stay out of jail

By NIVASHNI NAIR, The Times | 2012-05-10 08:41:19.0

DURBAN socialite, businessman and self- proclaimed prince Sifiso Zulu wants to pay off the families of the two people he killed to save him from prison.

Hours after police served him with a notice to surrender, Zulu’s attorney Lonwabo Dandala contacted the National Prosecuting Authority to consider the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) law, which is usually reserved for mediation.

“We understand that we cannot replace the two lives that have been lost but my client is remorseful and believes that he can compensate the family in the interest of society.

“With the ADR we are saying that as a civilised society we have a duty not to punish people but to deter others,” he said.

Dandala said he got involved in Zulu’s trial at a later stage therefore he was unable to argue that sentencing should have involved the family.

“We need to look at the interests of the community, the accused and society.

“We feel that by asking the family to forgive and forget, and if they do, we can accept that ADR should be put in place”.

He said a man of Zulu’s calibre should not be sent to prison.

“As a member of the ANC he fought in the struggle and even held positions at no less than 29 company boards in the country. He has skills and to send him to prison, we will be failing,” Dandala said.

However, National Prosecuting Authority provincial spokeswoman Natasha Ramkisson said the ADR law would not apply to Zulu’s matter.

“The ADR is used in lower court matters to resolve a less serious offence. It will not apply to a matter of this nature where the charges are very serious,” she said.

Dandala said if the NPA accepted the request to start the ADR process, Zulu would not purse an application to appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal against his conviction and three-year sentence, which he filed late yesterday afternoon.

The application will have to be heard before the 48 hours after Zulu was served the notice at 10:30am yesterday lapses or he would have to surrender or a warrant for his arrest is issued.

Zulu has refused to hand himself over to prison authorities, saying this was because he was not informed that his appeal against a culpable homicide conviction and three- year jail term was dismissed by Judge Piet Koen in Pietermaritzburg on Friday. Dandala said he planned to lodge a complaint with KwaZulu-Natal Judge President Chiman Patel because “it was a disgrace that as applicants we were not informed".

Judge Koen found that Zulu was the driver of a black BMW X5 which killed two people and injured 10 in March 2008. Zulu had maintained his innocence throughout his trial claiming that his friend was the driver. He had given two different names to court.