Confusion abounds in Dewani trial

2012-10-22 22:21
Xolile Mngeni (Picture: AP)

Xolile Mngeni (Picture: AP)

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Cape Town - Confusion abounded on Monday during the cross-examination of a man on trial in the Western Cape High Court for the murder of Anni Dewani.

Prosecutor Shareen Riley asked Xolile Mngeni, 25, about a series of events the weekend Dewani was hijacked, robbed, and killed in November, 2010.

He got confused when she wanted to make sure he was not friends with his alleged accomplice Mziwamadoda Qwabe, who has been convicted of the murder and jailed for 25 years.

Mngeni said he only knew of Qwabe, because he and Mngeni's older brother had DJ-ed together.

"Did you ever talk to him?" Riley asked.

"No, I never had a conversation with him," Qwabe replied.

However, later on in questioning, Mngeni conceded that they had chatted on occasion, when Qwabe visited his house sometimes to get a CD from his brother.


There was then a misunderstanding about where Mngeni was on the day of the murder.

Mngeni had earlier said that on the Saturday in question, he was walking from the shops when he saw Qwabe in the passenger seat of a passing vehicle, at a four-way stop opposite his friend's house.

Riley said this contradicted what his lawyer had put to Qwabe during his testimony.

"Remember when Mr Qwabe testified, your defence told him your version of events. He said you were at your friend's place getting a haircut," she said.

He replied that his defence must have misunderstood him when taking instructions.

"No that is not a barber's shop. I was never at his place," he testified.

Riley asked why Mngeni had not corrected his lawyer at the time. His reply was that he had not heard the mistake.

Murder night

Mngeni seemed lucid and spoke clearly and easily when he took to the stand to answer questions from his lawyer Qalisile Dayimani.

He took his first long pause when the State asked where he was the night of the murder.

At first he said he had slept at his girlfriend's place on the Friday night and at his own home on the Saturday evening.

He was asked if he was sure.

He sat quietly for a minute, looking downward with his finger on his chin and told Riley: "I'm still thinking".

Mngeni then said he was confusing things, and that it was the other way around. He was at his girlfriend's place that Saturday, with another couple.

The trial continues.

Read more on:    mziwamadoda qwabe  |  anni hindocha  |  xolile mngeni  |  shrien dewani  |  cape town  |  honeymoon hijacking

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