Judge refuses to admit victim impact statement
The Gauteng High Court (Johannesburg) has refused to admit a victim impact statement on how the death of Prince Lethukuthula Zulu affected the Zulu royal family.
A News24 report says in November 2020, Zulu's body was found by security guards at his residential complex in Northworld, Johannesburg.
His friend, Nkosi Msimang, was found unconscious in his room. Four women were arrested and, at the time, were alleged to have been linked to the murder.
Tshegofatso Moremane, Gontse Tlhoele, Margaret Koaile and Portia Mmola had joined Zulu and Msimang for drinks at a restaurant in Randburg.
The ‘party’ then moved to the residence that Msimang and Zulu had shared.
The court in August acquitted them on murder charges and found them only guilty of theft. Several items and cash, were stolen by the four. They appeared in court on Friday, where the state was expected to hand in the victim impact statements.
Advocate Sifiso Khumalo told the court he was giving a victim impact statement in aggravation of sentence.
However, Judge Moleboheng Mdalana-Mayisela was not convinced it was relevant to the day’s proceedings, says the News24 report.
Khumalo said he was not saying the four women killed the deceased, but said the death could not be separated from the theft, as both events occurred on the same day.
‘It would be odd to separate the death of the deceased and the events that happened. It would be absurd to do so. He died and lost things. We can't overlook that,’ he said.
The judge was, however, not convinced by the state's submissions and said she couldn't see how the theft could have had an impact on the death of Zulu.
‘He died as a result of cocaine and alcohol,’ Mdalana-Mayisela said.
The judge then refused the state's application to hand over the victim impact statement from one of Zulu's family members.
The report notes the case against the four was postponed until later this month for closing arguments in mitigation and aggravation of sentence.
The four women have been in custody since their arrest in 2020.
Article disclaimer: While we have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of this article, it is not intended to provide final legal advice as facts and situations will differ from case to case, and therefore specific legal advice should be sought with a lawyer.