24 unidentified fingerprints found at Dewani murder scene

2012-08-22 12:41

Of the 27 fingerprints found on the car in which newlywed Anni Dewani was shot and killed almost two years ago, only three belonged to two people who have been identified, a forensic expert told the Western Cape High Court.

The people identified were the driver of the car, Zola Tongo, who was sentenced to 18 years in jail in December 2010 after entering a plea bargain with the State, and the current murder accused, Xolile Mngeni, said the police’s Warrant Officer Johan Hanekom.

Hanekom told Judge Robert Henney that he did not know to whom the remaining 24 fingerprints belonged.

Only the fingerprints of people who had committed a crime were kept on a database, thus it was likely the unidentified fingerprints belonged to someone who had never been arrested.

They might not necessarily belong to someone who was involved in Anni Dewani’s murder, he said, as there may have been people who arrived at the scene before it was cordoned off by the forensic team on November 14 2010.

Fingerprints of Mziwamadoda Qwabe, who was two weeks ago convicted and sentenced to 25 years in prison after pleading guilty to his part in killing Anni Dewani, were not among the fingerprints found on the car, Hanekom told the court.

Qwabe’s testimony named Mngeni as the man who pulled the trigger but Mngeni, who is suffering from a malignant brain tumour, has pleaded not guilty.

Shrien Dewani, who the State contends organised and paid for hitman to kill his wife, is tied up in extradition proceedings in the UK where he is being treated for mental health illness.

The case continues.

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