Dewani witness ‘was drunk’

2012-08-21 11:34

A witness in the Anni Dewani murder case was drunk the night he drove with her convicted killer and an alleged accomplice to Gugulethu, the Western Cape High Court has heard.

The witness said he had been drinking with a friend before he arrived at the Khayelitsha tavern, Sop’s Place, around 9.30pm on November 13 2010. At the tavern, he drank about 375ml of whisky.

He told the court even though he could drive, walk, and see he thought it better not to do so.

He said the driving was done by Mziwamadoda Qwabe, who has been jailed for 25 years after pleading guilty to his part in the murder.

The witness, who cannot be named in terms of a court ruling, was testifying in the trial of Xolile Mngeni, who allegedly pulled the trigger.

Mngeni, who is suffering from a malignant brain tumour, was declared fit to stand trial last week.

The witness testified yesterday that he drove with the two in his car, as well as a male friend and two women, to Gugulethu, the same place the Dewani’s shuttle was hijacked.

Anni Dewani was shot in an apparent car hijacking while on honeymoon with her husband Shrien in Cape Town in November 2010.

Mngeni has pleaded not guilty to charges of kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances, murder, and the illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Matthews Dayimani, his lawyer, asked the witness why his testimony mentioned six people in the car, when his statement to police only made mention of five.

“I remember saying we were six,” the witness said.

Dayimani asked if his memory was poor because he had been drinking that night.

The witness chuckled and said he was adamant there were six people.

The court heard the police never asked the witness for the names of his friend and the two women.

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