Traverso: State should approach evidence with caution

2014-12-08 11:12
Shrien Dewani (File, AP)

Shrien Dewani (File, AP)

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

Cape Town - Western Cape High Court deputy Judge President Jeanette Traverso on Monday began reading out her judgment in an application to have British businessman Shrien Dewani discharged of the killing of his wife.

She read case law to set out the history and scope of discharge applications.

Referring to the five charges against Dewani, she said it was crucial for the State's case to prove that he entered into an agreement with others to have his wife Anni killed in 2010.

Failing that, there would be nothing linking him to the crimes.

An accused was entitled to be discharged if there was no possibility of conviction unless he entered the witness box and incriminated himself.

Evidence of accomplice witness

His shuttle taxi driver at the time, Zola Tongo, was the only accomplice witness.

"It is trite that court should approach evidence of accomplice witness with caution," said Traverso.

She said his version needed to be corroborated specifically where it implicated the accused.

Details such as where he picked up and dropped off Dewani and his wife did not provide corroboration for Tongo.

"It is what was said during these events which is an issue and for that there is only the version of Tongo." She said the same applied to the telephonic communication.

"This telephone communication does not in itself corroborate what was said during those calls, it merely confirms that communication took place."

"No credible evidence"

Dewani paid attention as Traverso spoke and shook his head when the charges were read out.

The courtroom was packed with local and foreign journalists.

A few people had to stand in the public gallery because there was no space left.

A single television camera stood to the left of the dock, and would provide feed as part of a pool arrangement.

Dewani's legal team brought the discharge application in terms of section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Act, opening the way for a discharge if the court believes there is no credible evidence at the close of the State's case.

Dewani went on trial in October for allegedly plotting with Tongo and others to kill his wife Anni while they were on honeymoon on Cape Town in November 2010.

He has pleaded not guilty to charges including kidnapping, murder and defeating the ends of justice.

Unharmed

He claims the couple was hijacked while Tongo drove them through Gugulethu in his minibus on Saturday 13 November 2010.

He was released unharmed and Anni was driven away. She was found shot dead in the abandoned minibus in Khayelitsha the next morning.

The State alleges he conspired with others to stage the hijacking, for which he paid R15 000.

He maintains that Tongo helped him organise a surprise helicopter trip for Anni for R15 000.

Tongo is serving an 18-year jail term and Qwabe, a 25-year jail term. Mngeni was serving life in jail for firing the shot that killed Anni, but died in prison from a brain tumour on 18 October.

Hotel receptionist Monde Mbolombo was granted immunity from prosecution on two charges during Mngeni's trial, but was warned he faced possible prosecution on various charges if he did not testify truthfully during Dewani's trial.

Read more on:    zola tongo  |  jeanette traverso  |  anni hindocha  |  shrien dewani  |  cape town  |  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.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Jordaan missing in action

2016-09-25 00:00

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
14 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
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.