Defence presents confusing argument

2012-11-06 22:15


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Cape Town - The lawyer for murder accused Xolile Mngeni sought to persuade the Western Cape High Court on Tuesday that his client was innocent of the murder of Anni Dewani.

Qalisile Dayimani, in his closing arguments, said the State had failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Mngeni, 25, actively participated in the murder.

He asked for Mngeni to be acquitted.

However, Judge Robert Henney had earlier reminded the lawyer that Mngeni's statement and pointing out, in which he admitted to the fatal shooting, had already been ruled admissible as evidence.

He said the possibility existed that Mngeni could at the very least be convicted as part of a common purpose to kill Dewani, through an act of association or an accessory after the fact.

The lawyer seemed to make an about-turn and spoke as though Mngeni could have been in the murder vehicle with alleged accomplice Mziwamadoda Qwabe, who was serving 25 years in jail for his role in the murder.

"The accused assured two people they were not going to be killed. There is an absence of intent to kill on his part and he enquired from his partner what was going to happen with those two people," Dayimani said.


The defence had previously vehemently denied that Mngeni was in the murder vehicle at any time and that he and Qwabe were anything more than acquaintances.

Henney probed further as to what Mngeni's role was, following his non-guilty plea to her hijacking, robbery and murder in Gugulethu on 13 November 2010.

"What business did he have with them in that car with Mr [Zola] Tongo? Did he go for a joy-ride? Surely not," the judge asked.

"What we can gather from the [court] record, it had nothing to do with the killing of any person and that he could have been asked to assist Mr Qwabe with the hijacking of the vehicle," Dayimani said.

"The accused never intended for anyone to be killed and had no knowledge he was part of a plan to execute a killing."

Seeming to contradict himself again, the lawyer wrapped up his argument by saying the defence's case rested on evidence given by two alibi witnesses, who said Mngeni was not near the scene of the murder or where the murder was plotted the day before.

The trial was postponed until 19 November for judgment.

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

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