Fresh assault claim in Dewani trial

2012-09-20 20:32
Xolile Mngeni. (Schalk van Zuydam, AP)

Xolile Mngeni. (Schalk van Zuydam, AP)

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Cape Town - A man on trial for the murder of honeymoon tourist Anni Dewani was allegedly assaulted by police after leaving the Western Cape High Court, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Speaking outside the court, lawyer Qalisile Dayimani said Xolile Mngeni, 25, was placed with seven others in a police truck returning to Pollsmoor prison on Wednesday afternoon.

He said Mngeni was usually put in a separate compartment because of his walking frame.

He and the other prisoners complained about the tight space and this apparently angered the officers.

"They [took Mngeni out and] trampled him by foot.... They also rammed him against the stairs of the truck," Dayimani said.

Mngeni apparently hurt his left elbow, which had previously been operated on. The lawyer said another prisoner also complained of injuries.


Alerting Judge Robert Henney to the assault on Thursday, Dayimani said it had been reported and that statements would be taken from the prisoners later in the day.

The State wrapped up its case in the trial-within-a-trial to determine whether Mngeni's "confession" should be admitted as evidence.

Dayimani decided not to call Mngeni to the stand and said no further witnesses would be called.

Henney said the application hinged on two issues.

The first was the alleged continuous assault of Mngeni and whether it resulted in his statement and pointing out to police.

The second was whether it was the duty of Captain Adolf Jonker to stop taking Mngeni's statement and get a legal representative when Mngeni expressed uncertainty.

Both teams were instructed to send their heads of argument before Monday. Henney would hear arguments on Tuesday and would hand down a short ruling on whether it could be admitted on Wednesday.

The trial would then resume on 8 October after a court recess.

Read more on:    anni hindocha  |  xolile mngeni  |  shrien dewani  |  cape town  |  honeymoon hijacking

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