Dewani trial: Mbolombo more than a middleman?

2014-10-09 14:36
Shrien Dewani (File, AP)

Shrien Dewani (File, AP)

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

Video

Dewani arrives for day 3 of trial followed by family

2014-10-09 12:11

Day three of Shrien Dewani's trial is underway in the Western Cape High Court. Watch footage of Dewani arriving; he was closely followed by the Hindocha family (Anni's relatives) and the Dewani family too.WATCH

Cape Town - Hotel receptionist Monde Mbolombo may have been more than the middleman who set up honeymooner Anni Dewani's murder, the Western Cape High Court heard on Thursday.

Francois van Zyl, for murder accused Shrien Dewani, told convicted killer Mziwamadoda Qwabe during cross-examination that his claims about Mbolombo only being the link did not add up.

He handed up a timeline of the events that unfolded in November 2010, which the defence team compiled using CCTV footage of the Protea Hotel Colosseum in Cape Town where Mbolombo worked, and other records.

"If you look at all of this and the calls that Monde made to you... Monde was not just a linkman between you and [taxi driver Zola] Tongo. It went further than the link," he told Qwabe.

"During the time that this hijack was supposed to occur, he had spoken to you in person a number of times. And surely it was not just to make idle conversation, was it?"

Qwabe: Instructions must have come from Tongo

Qwabe said the men had missed their first opportunity to play out the sham hijacking and that Mbolombo was trying to convey that it had to be done the same day.

Van Zyl said it looked like Mbolombo was instructing him.

Qwabe replied the instruction must have come from Tongo.

The lawyer said Tongo would surely have phoned him directly instead of conveying a message through Mbolombo.

Mbolombo was granted immunity from prosecution after testifying for the State in the trial of convicted gunman Xolile Mngeni.

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

The State alleges Dewani approached Tongo, his shuttle taxi driver, and asked him to find a hitman.

Not guilty plea

Anni Dewani was shot dead in an apparent hijacking on 13 November 2010, during their honeymoon in Cape Town, while Tonga was driving them through Gugulethu in his shuttle bus.

Dewani has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances, conspiracy to commit these crimes, and defeating the ends of justice.

Van Zyl proceeded to explain evidence that backed up his assertion that Mbolombo was more involved than Qwabe claimed.

He said Mbolombo made an affidavit last month that indicated he was initially meant to attend the planning meeting between the men on the Saturday, 13 November 2010 that Anni was killed.

Mbolombo said in the affidavit he failed to attend the meeting because Tongo was late in picking him up and he needed to get to work.

Qwabe said he could not recall that but could also not dispute it.

Van Zyl referred to the hotel's CCTV footage and audio recordings from the hotel desk.

They transcribed a recording of Mbolombo on the hotel phone to someone, assumed to be Tongo, on the Saturday of the killing.

In it, Mbolombo is heard telling Tongo that the "young men" wanted white gloves like the ones used by doctors.

"I do not know anything about white gloves. I never discussed white gloves with Monde," Qwabe replied.

‘Mbolombo part of the planning’

Van Zyl said it was clear from the conversation that Mbolombo was part of the planning.

Qwabe was asked where he eventually got the yellow gloves that he used to cover his fingerprints while driving Tongo's hijacked shuttle taxi. He replied he had a pair at home.

"You used yellow domestic gloves that one uses for washing dishes and work at the house?" Van Zyl asked in surprise.

Qwabe said he did.

The lawyer presented Qwabe with a number of calls he received from Mbolombo that Saturday evening, as further proof that he was not merely a middleman but an active co-ordinator.

Qwabe said he could not dispute that the calls were made, but said he could not remember what the conversation was about.

He repeated his claim that the hotel receptionist was merely a middleman approached by Tongo to find a hitman.

Read more on:    anni hindocha  |  shrien dewani  |  cape town  |  crime  |  dewani trial

Join the conversation!

24.com 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.

24.com 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
25 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

PARTNER CONTENT
WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

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

Hello 

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 24.com network.

Settings

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.