second time in dock

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

Flamboyant socialite Sifiso Zulu yesterday appeared in the Durban magistrate's court charged with two counts of culpable homicide.

Zulu, who claims to be a prince, was accompanied by his two burly bodyguards, who sat next to him before he took the stand before magistrate Sam Luthuli.

Zulu's vehicle collided with a bakkie transporting churchgoers on March 29. He denied being behind the wheel at the time of the crash.

Two Mangosuthu University of Technology students, Hlengiwe Dlamini, 25, of eMondlo, and Sidumisile Ncube, 24, of Ulundi died in the crash.

At the time police reports said the driver of Zulu's car had allegedly fled the scene after driving through a red robot.

Prosecutor Mac Dyson did not object to the bail application by Zulu's attorney, Edward Ngubane. It was set at R5000.

Zulu looked puzzled while the prosecutor and his attorney exchanged words.

He stood quietly and in deep thought while the exchanges went on around him.

Zulu also faced charges of failing to perform the duties of a driver, reckless and negligent driving, as well as driving an unlicensed vehicle. The case was postponed to July 18.

The deceased crash victims, Dlamini and Ncube, were members of the Souls Harbour Ministries.

When police failed to make arrests after the accident, the church, led by Pastor Phumlani Ndlovu, hired a private investigator to probe the case.

The church also sent a letter to Safety and Security Minister Charles Nqakula outlining their findings and asking for his intervention.

However, before the church made its findings public, Zulu was arrested yesterday.

There were also questions raised at the time of the accident about the presence of transport MEC Bheki Cele at the scene.

Cele had defended his arrival at the scene by saying he was informed of the accident while working at the nearby exhibition centre.

Zulu was also arrested last month in connection with a previous warrant of arrest.

He was arrested after he allegedly failed to appear in court on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol in 2006.

That case was postponed to August.