Prince denies hit-and-run rap

Sne Masuku

Sne Masuku

Prince Sifiso Zulu has accused the police of spreading false stories about him when he appeared briefly in the Durban regional court yesterday on charges of culpable homicide, drunk driving and failing to stop at a traffic light.

Magistrate Thomas Mhleko set the trial for August 3 to 7.

The businessman was accompanied to court by three of his lawyers.

Dressed in black trousers, a blue shirt and a cream jacket, he looked relaxed as he took the stand. His lawyer Thabani Masuku asked for enough time to prepare his case and to consult the prosecutors.

On March 29 last year Zulu's BMW X5 was involved in a hit-and-run accident with a Mitsubishi double-cab bakkie. Two members of the Soul's Harbour Ministries Church were killed and 10 others were injured.

Police alleged that Zulu was drunk, but he denied being the driver. He was arrested in June on two charges of culpable homicide and was granted bail of R5000.

"Police have knowingly paraded false stories about our client's involvement in the unfortunate incident," said lawyer Wandile Mahlungu.

The police were accused of deliberately ignoring evidence that Zulu was "neither the driver nor a passenger in the vehicle".

He lashed out at police for their "overzealous attempt" to gain political mileage by uttering false statements against Zulu.

Mahlungu also lashed out at the DA for their insinuation that transport MEC Bheki Cele had "improperly intervened in the case in an effort to stop the investigation".

"The police and the media were more interested in far-flung political conspiracy theories that sought to turn a tragic vehicle accident into a political case, all this at the expense of the victims," the lawyer said.