Mngeni sold Anni’s Blackberry for R500 – witness

2012-09-03 12:59

The Khayelitsha man on trial for allegedly murdering Swedish newlywed Anni Dewani almost two years ago sold her Blackberry phone for R500 in order to go to Xhosa initiation school, a new witness told the Western Cape High Court this morning.

The sixth witness in the trial against Xolile Mngeni, who has pleaded not guilty to charges of kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances, and murder, told the court that on November 14 2010, a few hours after Anni Dewani’s lifeless body was discovered in the car belonging to shuttle driver Zola Tongo, Mngeni sold her a cell phone.

“On my way to the taxi rank I met Wati (Mngeni) and after we greeted he told me he is selling a phone for R500,” said the 44-year-old witness.

Judge Robert Henney has ordered that the witness cannot be named.

The witness said she told Mngeni she did not have money with her at that moment and he should come back later that evening.

“I asked him why he was selling the phone for R500 and he replied he needed the money to buy clothing as he was going to a circumcision school,” said the witness.

She said Mngeni came to her house at about 7pm and the witness asked him to collect the money the next day.

She said she was “shocked” when Mngeni came back on November 18 accompanied by police.

She said the police told him of the allegations against Mngeni and that the phone belonged to murdered Anni Dewani.

The phone was off and the sim card had been removed when Mgeni sold it.

Another witness on the stand today, Khanyisa Mcinga also told the court how she discovered jewellery belonging to Anni Dewani in her brother’s room.

She said her brother was Mngeni’s friend. Mcinga said she was cleaning her brother’s room when she saw the jewellery in a plastic bag.

It was not made clear how the jewellery came to be in Mcinga’s brother’s hands, although the state contends Mngeni gave the jewellery to the witness’s brother the same day he sold Anni’s phone.

The brother, whose name is not known, was arrested but was later released due to lack of evidence.

Court proceedings were delayed for two hours this morning due to the absence of Mngeni’s defense attorney, Qalisile Dayimani.

Court was supposed to get under?way at 9am but Dayimani only appeared shortly before 11am.
“I have been ready since 9 o’clock. I am not happy,” said Henney, before asking Dayimani to explain his lateness.

“I had a problem with the documents,” said Dayimani.

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