News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Tuesday July 16th 2019

Prosecution pokes holes in Dewani murder accused defense witness’s testimony

Dewani murder accused Mgneni leaves the docks earlier this month. Mngeni suffers from a brain tumor. Photo: Sandiso Phaliso/WCN


The version of events related by a defense witness detailing Dewani accused Xolile Mngeni’s whereabouts on the night Anni Dewani was murdered were “much different” from Mngeni’s own testimony said the state prosecutor today.

But defence witness Nombulelo Mato, 24, insisted that what she was telling the Western Cape High Court was true.

Mato was put on the stand yesterday by the defence team in order to supply an alibi for Mngeni, who has stated he spent a night with his girlfriend at Mato’s house.

Mato said Mngeni’s then girlfriend, known to the court as Khuselwa, came to the house where she lives with her parents, on the day before Anni Dewani’s murder in order to help the family prepare for a trip to the Eastern Cape.

Mato said Khuselwa stayed there that Friday night November 12, 2010.

However, she saw Mngeni on the street on November 12.

She said Mngeni, in the company of another man, arrived at the house on the evening of November 13, 2010, the night Anni was killed following an apparent hijacking in Gugulethu.

Mato said she, Khuselwa and Mngeni, together with Mgneni’s friend and two other people, drank, after which Mgeni and Khuselwa went to a shack in the backyard where they spent the night.

She said she saw Mngeni leave the next morning and saw him again on the street that afternoon of November 14, 2010, the day Anni’s lifeless body was discovered at the back of a Volkswagen Sharan driven by Zola Tongo.

Tongo was in December 2010 sentenced to 18 years in prison for assisting in the murder of Anni Dewani.

But state prosecutor Adriaan Mopp argued that Mato’s version of events differed from that provided by Mngeni.

Mopp told presiding Judge Robert Henney that Mngeni had told the court he arrived at Mato’s parent’s house in the company of Khuselwa. This contradicted Mato’s assertion that Khuselwa was already there.

Mopp said when Mngeni was giving testimony last week he did not mention that he arrived at Mato’s parents’ house in the company of another man.

Mopp asked Mato whether or not the young man in question was Likhaya Bacela, as Mngeni had previously testified he was also in Bacela’s company on the night of November 13 2010.

However, Mato said he did not arrive at her parents’ house with Bacela, but with another man she did not know at the time.

Additionally, Mopp pointed out that Mngeni has told the court there were four people in total at Mato’s parents house that night, whereas Mato’s testimony mentioned six in total.

Mopp said he would urge the court to put Mato’s testimony aside as he believed she was lying, an accusation Mato vehemently denied.

Mngeni is facing charges of robbery, kidnapping and murder.

Another man, Mziwamadoda Qwabe, has already been convicted for Anni’s murder and sentenced to 25 years in prison.

However, the State, which has closed its case, contends that Mngeni was the one that pulled the trigger and killed Anni Dewani.

Qwabe testified that he was hired by Zola Tongo, on the instructions of Anni’s new husband, UK citizen Shrien Dewani, to kill Anni Dewani, and got Mngeni to assist him.

Tongo has also testified that Shrien Dewani asked for his new bride to be murdered.

Shrien Dewani is currently involved in extradition procceedings in the UK.

The case continues on Wednesday where the State is expected to argue why Mngeni should be convicted. – Sandiso Phaliso

Tags: Adriaan Mopp, Anni Dewani, Judge Robert Henney, Khuselwa, Mziwamadoda Qwabe, Nombulelo Mato, Shrien Dewani, Xolile Mngeni, Zola Tongo

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