SANDF reservist charged with wife’s murder loses bail bid

SANDF reservist Lwanda Mxolisi Zungu in court on Thursday. l ANELISA KUBHEKA

SANDF reservist Lwanda Mxolisi Zungu in court on Thursday. l ANELISA KUBHEKA

Published May 2, 2024


Durban —  The Pinetown Magistrate’s Court has refused bail for the SANDF member charged with his wife’s murder.

Lwanda Mxolisi Zungu is accused of shooting and killing his wife, Tania Msane-Zungu, once in the head, four times in the neck, and once in her body in their Pinetown home. His sons, aged 11 and 15 years, as well as their grandmother Gwen Msane were in the house.

Zungu has a 14-year-old daughter that he shares with another woman.

After that, he ran away and later handed himself to the police two days after the shooting.

On Thursday, magistrate Wendalynn Robinson said that while Zungu presented the court with circumstances for his release on bail, these did not amount to exceptional. She added that the onus had been on Zungu to present such exceptional circumstances to the court.

“Zungu took the stand in this bail application. What came across to me was that the reasons for wanting bail are that he needs to take care of his minor children. He said he was concerned with his daughter's mental stability, he wanted to continue with his studies, and he needed to continue with his life as the same had been taken from him.

“When questioned by the State on his role in the events, his reply was unequivocally that all will be revealed at trial. My duty is not to look at guilt but to look at whether he has exceptional circumstances permitting his release on bail. He denied killing his wife. The court must weigh up his bare denial against what the State has presented,” she said.

Robinson said that the court was mindful that the needs of children should be considered.

“Currently his daughter is in the care of the accused's sister and is not coping. I must consider whether his daughter's wants are paramount over the interest of justice. Exactly how is the accused is to provide for his daughter? He is not getting a salary and his services with the SANDF seem to have been terminated.

“He said he wanted to open a business, but there is no evidence of this before the court bearing in mind that in his testimony he also said he was out of funds.

“The financial factors and interest of the children can't outweigh all other considerations.”

The case was adjourned to June for further investigations.

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