Dewani killing detailed in plea deal

2012-08-08 14:56
Mziwamadoda Qwabe (Schalk van Zuydam, AP)

Mziwamadoda Qwabe (Schalk van Zuydam, AP)

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Cape Town - Details of the murder of Swedish honeymooner Anni Dewani were made public on Wednesday when one of the suspects pleaded guilty to her murder.

Mziwamadoda Qwabe was jailed for 25 years. The Western Cape High Court imposed 15 years' imprisonment for robbery with aggravating circumstances, five years each for kidnapping and illegal possession of a firearm, and 25 years for murder.

Judge John Hlophe said the robbery, kidnapping and firearm terms would run concurrently with the murder sentence.

Qwabe earlier pleaded guilty to all charges. His lawyer Daniel Theunissen said he had signed a plea agreement.

Dewani, 28, was shot in an apparent car hijacking while on honeymoon with her husband Shrien in Cape Town in November 2010.

Contract killing

In the plea agreement, Qwabe admitted to kidnapping Dewani in Gugulethu with co-accused Xolile Mngeni, Zola Tonga and Shrien Dewani, on or about November 13.

He admitted assaulting her with a firearm to force her into submission, and robbing her of a Giorgio Armani watch, a gold and diamond bracelet, a handbag and her cellphone. Her possessions were worth about R90 000.

He further pleaded guilty to driving Dewani to Ilitha Park, in Khayelitsha, where she was shot in the neck and killed while in the car.

He said her husband had arranged the contract killing.

"The agreement was that Zola and the husband would be unharmed and that the deceased would be kidnapped, robbed and killed," Qwabe said in the plea agreement.

"The kidnapping and robbery were part of the plan to make it appear that this was a random criminal act, unconnected to Zola or the husband."

Dewani has repeatedly denied these allegations. He is being treated in the United Kingdom for depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

At the end of July, his lawyer Claire Montgomery told the Westminster Magistrate's Court that keeping her client under medical treatment in the UK for 12 months would speed up his recovery, rather than jeopardise it by sending him to South Africa.

The British Press Association reported that the hearing was adjourned to September 18 for a psychiatrist to examine Dewani and give the court more information about his condition.

Only then would a decision be made on whether he was fit to stand trial in Cape Town.

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

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