Eastern Cape police officer gets 24 years for gunning down wife at son’s EL school

An Eastern Cape police officer has been jailed for killing his girlfriend.
An Eastern Cape police officer has been jailed for killing his girlfriend.
Image: 123RF/ Stockstudio44

A police constable who shot and killed his wife at the main gate of their son’s East London school in 2018 will spend the next 24 years in jail.

The Kidd’s Beach officer, Zandisile Zweni, 47, was sentenced in the Eastern Cape High Court in East London on Wednesday for murdering his estranged wife, Andiswa Zweni, 36, in June 2018.

He was found guilty on Tuesday.

In an incident that sent shock waves across the city and beyond, Zweni shot his wife at the entrance of Voorpos Primary School in Cambridge, East London on June 22 2018.

The couple were separated after experiencing marital problems, which led to Andiswa taking out a protection order against the husband, who she accused of holding a gun to her head during an argument.

National Prosecuting Authority regional spokesperson Anelisa Ngcakani said Zandisile had pleaded guilty in November 2019 to murdering Andiswa.

“His case was postponed to January 2020 for sentencing proceedings.

“However, during these proceedings, Zweni changed his legal team and when he gave evidence in mitigation of sentence, he said he had not intended to kill his wife and did not remember some details of the incident as he had not been in his right mind.”

Consequently, the court changed his plea to not guilty, Ngcakani said.

The court ordered that Zandisile be sent to Fort England Psychiatric Hospital in Makhanda for observation.

The institution found he had been mentally fit when he murdered Andiswa.

In his initial guilty plea, Zandisile said Andiswa had been verbally abusive towards him and this had provoked him to murder her.

He said they had argued when he went to Voorpos to fetch their son’s school report.

When he arrived at the school, he was told to return later as the staff were in a meeting.

Zweni then went to the nearby Cambridge High School to fetch their daughter’s report.

He told the court he had then informed his wife in a text message that he had collected their daughter’s report.

Zweni said while he was on his way back to Voorpos, Andiswa had called him and insulted him for fetching their daughter’s report.

He told the court that he had been deeply disturbed and hurt by this.

As he entered the Voorpos premises, he spotted his wife driving out of the school premises.

He approached her and they argued.

He lost his temper because of her alleged insults and shot her dead.

He was arrested while still at the crime scene.

High court judge Bantubonke Tokota deviated from sentencing Zweni to the prescribed minimum sentence of life imprisonment for premeditated murder, saying the disgraced cop had shown remorse.

He had also asked for forgiveness from his two young children.

The acting director of public prosecutions, Livingstone Sakata, congratulated the investigating and prosecution teams, saying their hard work and dedication had led to the sentence.

“The severity of the sentence shows that our courts do not tolerate violence against women,” Sakata said.

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