News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Wednesday June 19th 2019

Dewani murder accused confession admitted as evidence

Dewani accused Xolile Mngeni pores over details of the case in the Western Cape High Court. Photo: Sandiso Phaliso/WCN

Dewani accused Xolile Mngeni pores over details of the case in the Western Cape High Court. Photo: Sandiso Phaliso/WCN


Allegations that Anni Dewani murder accused Xolile Mngeni was tortured into giving his statement of confession to police were dismissed by Western Cape High Court Judge Robert Henney today.

Giving his judgement on the trial-within-a-trial regarding the admissibility of Mngeni’s statement to police after his arrest on November 16, 2010, Henney said he would elaborate on his reasons at a later stage.

Henney also dismissed allegations that Mngeni was denied to opportunity of having a legal representative when being questioned by police regarding the murder of newlywed Swedish national Anni Dewani on November 13, 2010 and that his health concerns were ignored.

Mngeni has since been diagnosed as suffering from a malignant brain tumour, which has delayed his trial.

Mngeni has pleaded not guilty to charges of kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances, murder, possession of unlicensed firearm and illegal ammunition in relation to Anni Dewani’s murder while she was in South Africa on honeymoon with her husband Shrien Dewani.

Two other men Mziwamadoda Qwabe and Zola Tongo has since been convicted and sentenced to an effective 25-years and 18-years respectively, for the roles they played in Anni’s murder.

The State contends that her husband Shrien Dewani masterminded her death by asking Tongo to organise her murder.

Anni Dewani’s lifeless body was found on November 14, 2010 in Khayelitsha on the backseat Tongo’s Volkswagen Sharan which had been hijacked in Gugulethu the previous evening.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila has welcomed Judge Henney’s ruling, saying it would enable the state to cross examine Mngeni on the content of his confession statement.

Speaking outside court, Ntabazalila said the judgement was “very positive” and “it is an important victory” for the State’s case.

“We are very happy the case is moving forward. The (confession) statement allows us to cross-examine him about the content, and most importantly he places himself at the crime scene,” said Ntabazalila.

Mngeni stated that he was with a man called ‘Mawewe’ – believed to be Qwabe – on the evening of November 13, 2010 when ‘Mawewe’ hijacked the vehicle the Dewani’s were being driven in by Tongo.

However, Mngeni blamed the murder on ‘Mawewe’ and posited that he was an unwilling accomplice.

The main trial continues on October 8 following the court’s recess. – Sandiso Phaliso

Tags: Anni Dewani, Eric Ntabazalila, Judge Robert Henney, Mawewe, Mziwamadoda Qwabe, Shrien Dewani, Xolile Mngeni, Zola Tongo

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