Hope lived for Warona

CityPress - - News - POLOKO TAU poloko.tau@city­press.co.za

Mark Warona Zinde’s grand­mother be­lieves her 23-year-old grand­son was not in his right mind when he al­legedly killed his mother, for­mer jour­nal­ist and tele­vi­sion news an­chor Hope Zinde. This is con­tained in an af­fi­davit read out on Fri­day in the Brits Mag­is­trates’ Court in North West by Zinde’s at­tor­ney, Mo­gorosi Mo­lusi, where the ac­cused made his sec­ond ap­pear­ance.

The af­fi­davit was pre­sented on be­half of the de­ceased’s mother, Au­drey Zinde, in sup­port of an ap­pli­ca­tion made to court for her grand­son to be sent for “psy­chi­atric foren­sic ob­ser­va­tion” at a state in­sti­tu­tion.

She stated in the same doc­u­ment that her grand­son could not, as a re­sult (of his men­tal state), “ap­pre­ci­ate what he was do­ing and what the con­se­quences ... would be”.

Au­drey said Hope had started a process to take Mark in for re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion and men­tal care af­ter he dis­played cer­tain be­havioural pat­terns.

The court said he had “re­sisted” as a re­sult of his “men­tal ill-health”.

Au­drey stated that Mark had pre­vi­ously been to re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion for drug use some time in 2013, adding that “the need for his re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion gave the im­pres­sion his use of drugs caused him se­ri­ous per­son­al­ity and men­tal dis­or­ders”.

Wor­ry­ing in­di­ca­tions which, Au­drey said, were ob­served by her de­ceased daugh­ter, in­cluded Mark: Show­ing signs of be­ing to­tally with­drawn; Not com­mu­ni­cat­ing at all; Dis­play­ing bizarre be­hav­iour; Lock­ing him­self in his room all day; and Be­ing ag­gres­sive as well as a dan­ger to him­self. Au­drey said Hope’s helper told him he had re­fused her ac­cess to the house when she re­ported for duty on Wed­nes­day.

The helper added in her af­fi­davit that Mark had “ag­gres­sively grabbed her by the col­lar of her gar­ment, pushed her to the door and or­dered her to go away”.

This is what prompted Au­drey and her other daugh­ter, Fik­ile, to drive from Mamelodi, east of Pre­to­ria, to Hope’s house at the up-mar­ket Pe­can­wood Golf Es­tate in Hart­beespoort last Satur­day. This was also af­ter they had been un­able to reach Hope on her cell­phone since Wed­nes­day.

On their ar­rival at the main gate of the leafy es­tate, Au­drey said that Mark had told se­cu­rity guards to deny them ac­cess. They later man­aged to en­ter af­ter the po­lice ar­rived.

North West po­lice spokesper­son Colonel Sa­bata Mokg­wabone said Mark opened the door when he saw the po­lice, who went on to search the house.

The po­lice came across a trail of blood lead­ing from the bath­room to the garage, where they made the grue­some dis­cov­ery of Hope’s body in the boot of her Range Rover.

“Po­lice searched the sus­pect and found a small amount of the drug, crystal meth,” Mokg­wabone tes­ti­fied. “He was taken in for ques­tion­ing, and charged with mur­der and drug pos­ses­sion the fol­low­ing day, Sun­day.”

At his hear­ing, Mark ap­peared dis­ori­en­tated, and Mag­is­trate Lourens Mat­tiah al­lowed him to sit.

He turned his head for a quick glance at the pub­lic gallery, smil­ing briefly but looked weary. The only child of the de­ceased, he did not show any emo­tion as af­fi­davits re­veal­ing de­tails about his strug­gle with drugs were read out in court.

How­ever, sit­ting be­hind him were a youth­ful man and woman strug­gling to con­tain their emo­tions.

The woman, who sobbed un­con­trol­lably, told City Press that she went to high school with the ac­cused and de­scribed him as a “won­der­ful per­son”. She re­fused to re­veal her iden­tity and the na­ture of her friend­ship with Mark. “We are all shocked. It can’t be the Mark we know who did this ... he was a so­cial per­son, loved by every­one,” she said.

It was also heard in court that Mark did not speak to his two un­cles or ac­cept any­thing they brought him when they vis­ited him at the Brits po­lice sta­tion, where he was held.

His case was post­poned for 30 days pend­ing ad­mis­sion and an ob­ser­va­tion at Weskop­pies Psy­chi­atric Hospi­tal.

Shortly af­ter his court ap­pear­ance, a memo­rial ser­vice was held in his mother’s hon­our in Pre­to­ria, where the is­sue of drugs dom­i­nated the speeches made by the con­cerned mourn­ers.

Hope’s friend, ra­dio per­son­al­ity Criselda Kananda, urged com­mu­ni­ties to unite and fight the scourge of drugs. “Let this death be a les­son for us to hold hands and deal with this monster that is drugs. To­day it is Warona [Mark’s Sotho name]. Whose child is next?”

Oth­ers spoke of how Hope loved and spoilt her son. “When Hope spoke of her son, ev­ery­thing came to a stand­still,” said Min­is­ter of Small Busi­ness De­vel­op­ment Lindiwe Zulu.

Hope’s neigh­bour at Pe­can­wood Es­tate, Velile Ram­phele, said Hope “re­ally stood out as an ex­am­ple of a good mother”.

He urged peo­ple not to aban­don Mark, who was re­manded in pri­son un­til his next ap­pear­ance next month. “Let’s not judge him,” Ram­phele pleaded.

PHOTO: THO­BILE MATHONSI / INL

TRAGEDY The mother of TV and ra­dio per­son­al­ity Hope Zinde breaks down at her memo­rial ser­vice in Mamelodi

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