Dewani shot at close range: Pathologist

By Drum Digital
10 October 2012

Honeymoon tourist Anni Dewani cowered in a defensive pose before being shot at very close range, the Western Cape High Court heard on Wednesday.

Pathologist Janette Verster said from Dewani's wounds, it appeared as though she had lifted her left arm and shoulder close to her neck before the gun was fired.

She said the muzzle of the gun was likely five to 10cm away at the time.

She was testifying in the trial of Xolile Mngeni, 25, who has pleaded not guilty to kidnapping, robbing and shooting Dewani dead in Gugulethu, on November 13, 2010.

Verster conducted the autopsy the day after the killing and also attended the scene.

She said that at the scene, Dewani was lying on her right hand side on the back seat, with both hands tucked under chin.

The autopsy found that a single bullet entered her left hand, near the thumb, and exited at the back of her hand. It then grazed the skin between her chest and left shoulder, before entering the left part of her neck.

Verster said the bullet severed two vascular veins (veins that carry blood to and from the head) and perforated the spinal cord before exiting her back.

Judge Robert Henney asked if Verster could tell where the shooter had been sitting in the car by looking at the wounds.

"Unfortunately not. A person can be in a number of positions and holding the gun in numerous way," she replied.

The trial continues.

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