Officer’s tragic death sparks anger

NO BAIL: Hewu Civic Organisation members and local residents picket outside the magistrate’s court in Whittlesea after the death of 50-year-old police officer Vusumzi Nxano Picture: SUPPLIED

Respected policeman dragged behind vehicle — in front of his family — driven by 19-year-old pupil

Hewu Civic Organisation members are up in arms over the tragic death of a policeman in Whittlesea.

Warrant Officer Vusumzi Nxano, 50, was killed after being dragged behind a Toyota Tazz, driven by 19-year-old Sihle Zonela, in the town’s CBD on August 9.

Zonela has been charged with the murder and was released on a warning on Monday, sparking fury among local residents.

They protested outside the Whittlesea magistrate’s court this week demanding justice for the respected police officer.

Last week, they submitted a memorandum of demands calling for Zonela to be refused bail.

Nxano’s relatives said they were still grieving and were surprised to learn about the bail application even before the Vispol officer was laid to rest.

They said it exposed a problem in the justice system and supported the protesting community members.

Chairperson of the civic organisation, Sandiso Mabilwane, said they were disappointed with the court’s decision and that there was apparently no bail fee. “The accused woman is facing a schedule six offence for the death of a police official. Nxano was killed in front of his wife and eight-year-old son. The boy will have anger towards women,’’ Mabilwane said. He said he felt the case was not given the attention it deserved.

“When a woman is killed organisations are quick to rally, but because it is a man, it is a struggle.

“The magistrate said Zonela was a slow learner who needed to study and prepare for exams.

“There is also school in prison, she can study there. We will inform police [minister] Bheki Cele about the matter.”

He added they also planned to speak to the school governing body at Zonela’s school as they did not want her back in the school after the incident.

“If a policeman dies, the government will not easily replace him. We are already facing police shortages.

“On the night Nxano was killed he was telling Zonela to stop swerving the car as she was endangering people’s lives.

“Nxano was a man of the law, someone who worked well with the community.”

Today [Friday], the residents were set to embark on another march to complain about the justice system in Whittlesea, where, they said, criminals were released after committing serious crimes.

Police spokesperson Captain Lariane Jonker said Zonela would appear in court again on October 31.