Dewani murder-accused tortured - lawyer

2012-09-17 16:26
Xolile Mngeni (File, AP)

Xolile Mngeni (File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - A man on trial for Anni Dewani's murder was assaulted and tortured in the basement of a police building, the Western Cape High Court heard on Monday.

Xolile Mngeni was led to the basement of the Directorate of Priority Crime Investigation building in Bellville shortly after his arrest on November 16 2010 his lawyer Qalisile Dayimani claimed.

It was there that his hands were cuffed to the back of the chair and he was "severely assaulted and beaten by Constable Mbali".

"It was at this basement where the accused had his testicles slammed into the drawer of a desk that was there... and had an evidence bag placed over his head and was suffocated," the lawyer told the court.

Mngeni is on trial for the hijacking, robbery, and murder of Dewani in Gugulethu on November 13 2010. She and her husband Shrien were on honeymoon at the time.

Trial within a trial

The policeman who arrested Mngeni, Lieutenant Colonel Bonginkosi Kwinana, was under cross-examination by the defence.

Kwinana's testimony forms part of a trial-within-a-trial to determine whether a "confession" by Mngeni can be admitted as evidence.

The police officer repeatedly denied the assertions of assault put to him by the defence.

Kwinana said that, to the best of his knowledge, Mngeni had never been in any basement. He was also not assaulted while in his presence, which happened to be most of that morning before he was placed back in the holding cells.

Dayimani said it was his instruction that Mngeni was taken from the basement to a vehicle, to show officers where his accomplice "Mawewe" stayed.

"On the road to Khayelitsha, he was constantly beaten and you were sitting next to him at the back of the [charcoal or black] double cab bakkie," the lawyer put it to Kwinana.

The policeman replied that Mngeni was lying and that the unit had driven in a maroon Toyota RunX.

"I wouldn't allow anyone to assault him as I am a senior officer of the police," he told the court.


The lawyer claimed Mngeni had not led police to various places where his alleged accomplice "Mawewe" might be, as Kwinana had testified.

Dayimani said it was Mawewe's girlfriend who took police to C-section, in Khayelitsha, where the man could still not be found.

"He [Mngeni] is the one who took us to various addresses," Kwinana said.

Dayimani wrapped up his cross-examination before lunch and Kwinana was allowed to leave the stand.

Deputy director of public prosecutions Adrian Mopp said the defence continued to make allegations of assault and to link individuals to these allegations without advance notice. He said this had left the State unprepared.

The trial was adjourned until 14:00, for the State to track down its next witness.

The court heard the trial was set down to continue from October 8 to November 18, after a two-week recess.

Mopp said the trial could be completed before that time.
Read more on:    anni hindocha  |  xolile mngeni  |  shrien dewani  |  cape town  |  honeymoon hijacking

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Partner Content
Travel Dreams? Where would you rather be right now?

Partnered: Whether you're missing family overseas, dreaming of family adventures or romantic hideaways we all have that one place we'd rather be right now - but have you thought about the best way to get there?

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.