Dewani would say R10,000 was in wife's bag

By Drum Digital
09 October 2014

Shrien Dewani will say there was R10,000 in his wife's handbag before it was snatched in an apparent hijacking in 2010, his lawyer told the Western Cape High Court.

British businessman Shrien Dewani will say there was R10,000 in his wife's handbag before it was snatched in an apparent hijacking in 2010, his lawyer told the Western Cape High Court on Thursday.

"My client will tell the court that there was R10,000 in that handbag," Francois van Zyl told State witness and convicted killer Mziwamadoda Qwabe during cross-examination.

Qwabe replied that that was Dewani's version and he stuck by his own. Qwabe and Xolile Mngeni hijacked the shuttle taxi Dewani and his wife Anni were in on November 13, 2010, while they were passing through Gugulethu, Cape Town. The State alleges Dewani approached the taxi driver Zola Tongo with the hitman proposition and a contract price of R15,000.

Mngeni was jailed for life, Qwabe is serving a 25-year jail term, and Tongo 18 years.

Dewani has pleaded not guilty to the five counts against him. Van Zyl asked whether there was an agreement or promise that Tongo would give them the money upfront.

Qwabe said the only agreement was that the money was going to be in the cubbyhole of the taxi.

He testified on Wednesday that as they walked away from the crime scene, Mngeni took out the money he had retrieved from a pouch inside the car, which was payment for their criminal services.

"We counted the money while we were walking and it only comes to R10,000. He shows me another stack of some R4000 that he said he got from the husband," Qwabe testified at the time.

He said he parted ways with Mngeni and went to a party. Mngeni left with the firearm.

The following day, he called hotel receptionist and middleman Monde Mbolombo because the "hit" money was R5000 short. Mbolombo apparently said he would sort it out with Tongo.

On Thursday, Van Zyl said that during Mngeni's trial Qwabe had testified that he was not sure who took the money out of the car.

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