Former station commander dies by suicide – she was expected to plead guilty to theft

The former station commander of Mandeni police station in KwaZulu-Natal was expected to appear before the Richards Bay Commercial Crimes Court on Friday, 11 November on charges related to the theft of more than R100 000 from the police evidence lock-up.

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) announced that the accused died by suicide, on Friday.


IPID spokesperson Grace Langa said former station commander Lieutenant-Colonel Mary-Jane Ziningi Zulu was due to appear before the Richards Bay court on two counts of theft of exhibit money worth R108 000.

“Unfortunately, we were informed this morning that the former station commander committed suicide. She consumed poison this morning when she was supposed to come to court,” said Langa.

The accused first appeared in court in June 2021 when she was officially charged. The matter was due to go on trial in December, said Langa, when Zulu indicated that she wants to plead guilty and the matter was postponed to 11 February.

In light of the developments, the matter was postponed to 4 March for the deceased’s lawyers to submit a death certificate to the court.

Langa said the case will be closed once this has happened. On Thursday, the IPID spokesperson said “IPID has strong evidence against her, it is a woman was arrested before,” to journalists.

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