Dewani witness testifies hitman is Qwabe

2012-08-16 16:39
Mziwamadoda Qwabe (Schalk van Zuydam, AP)

Mziwamadoda Qwabe (Schalk van Zuydam, AP)

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Cape Town - The hitman referred to as "Abongile" in court testimony was in fact Mziwamadoda Qwabe, the Western Cape High Court heard on Thursday.

A witness confirmed Qwabe's identity to the court and said he did not recognise Xolile Mngeni, who is on trial for Anni Dewani's murder.

Mngeni has pleaded not guilty to charges of kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances, murder, and the illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.

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

The witness confessed on Wednesday that he was the middleman in a plot by a foreign "gentleman" to have his wife killed.

Judge Robert Henney has ordered that the witness not be identified, for fear of harm or intimidation.

The witness, a hotel worker, was asked by contracted shuttle driver Zola Tongo on 12 November 2010, whether he knew of a hitman.

Middleman

He had said he did not know anyone, but could put him in contact with a former co-worker he named as "Abongile", who had knowledge of these things.

The witness confessed to putting the two in contact and to acting as a go-between.

Tongo has already been jailed for 18 years as part of a plea bargain.

Last week, Qwabe was sentenced to in effect 25 years for his role in the plot, also in a plea agreement.

The witness told the court on Thursday about the events after he was taken into custody, a week after Anni Dewani was killed.

He said he told police officers at the time: "I don't know anything".

In his first statement to investigator Lieutenant Colonel Mike Barkhuizen at the Bellville police station, he withheld information about conversations between the accused.

After signing his statement, he was kept in a police cell for the weekend.

During that time, Barkhuizen came back to him to clarify a few details.

It was then that the witness suggested, of his own accord, that he could turn State witness. He filled in a witness form, stating what he knew what his role was.
Read more on:    mziwamadoda qwabe  |  anni hindocha  |  cape town  |  honeymoon hijacking

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