I never hurt Mngeni - policeman

2012-09-18 17:27
Xolile Mngeni (AP)

Xolile Mngeni (AP)

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Cape Town - A man on trial for Anni Dewani's murder was never assaulted or threatened in a police building basement, the Western Cape High Court in Cape Town heard on Tuesday.

Constable Zamikaya Mbali denied manhandling Xolile Mngeni shortly after his arrest on 16 November 2010.

He said Mngeni and three others were transported from C-Section, Khayelitsha, to the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation building in Bellville.

The group was then taken directly to an office on the fourth floor, Mbali said.

Mngeni has pleaded not guilty to hijacking, robbing and killing Dewani in Gugulethu on 13 November 2010. She was on honeymoon with her husband Shrien at the time.

The defence claimed Mbali and "a group of policemen" tortured Mngeni into making a statement.

Trial-within-trial

The court is hearing a trial-within-a-trial to decide whether this "confession" can be admitted as evidence.

Qalisile Dayimani, for Mngeni, alleged that only three people were taken to the fourth floor.

He claimed Mngeni was handcuffed to a chair in the basement, where Mbali apparently slammed his testicles into a desk drawer and tried to suffocate him by placing an evidence bag over his head.

Mbali replied: "I never witnessed that my Lord."

Dayimani said he had been instructed that Mngeni was forced to admit to the crime and to make a confession.
"This interrogation and assault lasted for two hours," the lawyer said.

Mbali denied this.

Exhausted

Mngeni was taken from the Bellville office to Khayelitsha, to show policemen where his accomplice "Mawewe" was.
When this search was unsuccessful, the group returned to Bellville.

The defence claimed that Mbali tortured Mngeni again on their return, but the police officer said this was not possible.

He had not gone back to the office but went straight home instead, because he was "exhausted".

Asked to clarify, he said he had been on duty from 14 November to 16 November.

Mbali was allowed to leave the stand.

The next witness was expected to testify on the "pointing-out" by Mngeni on 17 November.

The trial continues.

- SAPA

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