Mbolombo asks for break, afraid he may confuse his answers

2014-11-07 14:59
Shrien Dewani. (File, AP)

Shrien Dewani. (File, AP)

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

Cape Town - The trial of British businessman Shrien Dewani, for the murder of his wife Anni, adjourned on Friday after hotel receptionist Monde Mbolombo asked for a break because he was afraid he might confuse his answers.

"I am tired my lady. I am asking for some time because I am scared I am confusing things. Even if it is 15 minutes", 35-year-old Mbolombo said through his Xhosa interpreter.

Western Cape High Court Deputy Judge President Jeanette Traverso granted the adjournment.

Prosecutor Shareen Riley exited the court and went to the witness room to speak to him.

He returned with red eyes and seemed to be trying to maintain his composure. The registrar then announced that the trial would resume after lunch, patted his arm, and softly said something to him.

As he exited, Anni Dewani's father Vinod Hindocha held the door open and smiled at him.

Mbolombo was warned at the beginning of his testimony that the court had yet to decide whether he would be granted immunity from prosecution on five criminal charges.

Moments before the adjournment, Dewani's lawyer Francois van Zyl had been trying to find out what Mbolombo's role was in the murder, especially because he said on Thursday that he had felt he should receive monetary compensation.

Dewani is on trial for allegedly plotting with shuttle taxi driver Zola Tongo and others to kill Anni while they were on honeymoon in Cape Town in November 2010.

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

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


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

The State alleges Dewani conspired with others to stage the hijacking in return for 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 Mziwamadoda Qwabe, a 25-year jail term.

Xolile Mngeni was serving life in jail for firing the shot that killed Anni, but died in prison from a brain tumour on 18 October.

At the conclusion of that trial, Mbolombo was granted immunity from prosecution on two charges, conspiracy to commit murder and illegal possession of ammunition.

Mbolombo told the court on Friday that all he knew a day before the alleged plot was that someone needed to be killed. He said his role was to introduce and maintain contact between Tongo and Qwabe.

"At that point you had done nothing except introduce them to each other. And you thought R5 000 would be good enough for only that, or did you foresee a further role for yourself?" the lawyer asked.

Mbolombo replied that the men did not discuss how he would be involved at the time, but he thought that his access to the hotel telephones was useful.

Read more on:    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.

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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Financial advisors – Do you need one and should you get one?

The good, the bad, and everything else you need to know when considering hiring a financial advisor.


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

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


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.


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.