Shrien Dewani: Defence insists Qwabe shot Anni

2014-10-13 14:05

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Convicted killer Mziwamadoda Qwabe repeatedly denied in the Western Cape High Court today that he shot dead honeymoon tourist Anni Dewani in a hijacked vehicle in 2010.

Francois van Zyl, for her husband, murder-accused Shrien Dewani, told Qwabe during cross-examination that all the evidence suggested that he pulled the trigger and not his accomplice, Xolile Mngeni, who is serving life in jail.

“I have to put it to you, sir, that your version that Mngeni shot the deceased is not true. What do you say to that? You were the person who shot the deceased,” Van Zyl said.

“At the time you were doing so, based on the objective facts, you were most probably standing at the left rear door, pulling her with your right hand, threatening her with the pistol against her chest.”

Qwabe disagreed with Van Zyl and stuck to his version that he was driving the vehicle when he heard the shot being fired.

Shrien Dewani, sitting in the dock, seemed frustrated and shook his head every now and then at Qwabe’s answers.

Van Zyl said the firearm in question had to be cocked before firing and asked whether he recalled Mngeni cocking it.

Qwabe said he could not recall hearing or seeing anything because he was focused on driving.

Qwabe is serving a 25-year jail term and shuttle taxi driver Zola Tongo 18 years.

Van Zyl said Tongo’s statement indicated that he observed two men walking towards his vehicle at the intersection that night and both had firearms.

He said the first man, Qwabe, got into the driver’s seat and pushed him to the passenger seat while the second man got into the back with the couple.

He said Qwabe had put a firearm against his head a short while later and ordered him to get out of the vehicle.

Qwabe denied this version of events and said there was only one firearm.

Van Zyl proceeded to explain how it would have been impossible, on Qwabe’s version, for Mngeni to have shot Anni Dewani from the front passenger seat.

He said they had gone to visit Mngeni in prison and measured his right arm from the hand to the elbow. It measured 55.5 centimetres.

The distance between the front seat and where Anni Dewani was sitting in the back was 80cm.

“Even if he was standing on his knees on the front seat, leaning over, he couldn’t have reached the lady, the deceased’s hand, to fire the shot,” the lawyer said.

Qwabe replied that his version was the only one he knew because that was what happened.

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