Mngeni lawyer: Video tampering possible

2012-09-10 22:39
Xolile Mngeni (Rodger Bosch, AFP)

Xolile Mngeni (Rodger Bosch, AFP)

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

Cape Town - A video of a man making admissions in connection with the murder of Anni Dewani could have been tampered with, the Western Cape High Court heard on Monday.

Xolile Mngeni instructed his lawyer that a recording of him in Bellville on the evening of 16 November, 2010, was interrupted numerous times and paused while people entered and left the room.

Qalisile Dayimani, for Mngeni, said the video could thus have been doctored, putting its authenticity into question.

Judge Robert Henney said Dayimani had not previously raised this issue.

The court was hearing a trial-within-a-trial to determine whether the State could admit into the court record a statement Mngeni made to police.

The defence objected to the admission of the statement, contending that it was not valid for a number of reasons.

Dewani was shot dead in Gugulethu in an apparent hijacking on 13 November 2010, while on honeymoon with her husband Shrien.

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

The State wanted to use the statement, containing "incriminating admissions", during cross-examination later in the trial.

The defence objected on the basis that Mngeni was apparently viciously assaulted during interrogation, his pleas for a lawyer were ignored, he was told what to say by police officers, and he gave in to pressure.

Dayimani questioned the video's authenticity only after it was played in court. The video shows his client agreeing to make a statement of his own will to Justice of The Peace, Captain Adolf Jonker.

Mngeni, through an interpreter, tells Jonker he is "just a bit scared of the other guy, the one who did this".

When he shows doubt about making an admission, Jonker repeatedly says the recording can be stopped until Mngeni has consulted with a lawyer.

After a lengthy period of deciding what to do, Mngeni tells Jonker: "I can give a statement now, [and] then I can take a lawyer when I'm in court as a lawyer [now] is going to delay."


At one point in the video, Mngeni is asked to take his green shirt and blue jacket off so Jonker can see if he has been assaulted.

Mngeni removes his top and no visible marks can be seen on his chest or arms. There are no visible marks when he turns around to show his back.

Jonker reminds the accused that he can be given protection if he feels threatened. He can also file a complaint with the Independent Police Investigative Directorate.

Dayimani interrupted the video at times to object to the way the interpreter translates Jonker's statements to Mngeni. He said critical information had not been relayed to his client.

The video was replayed for the court interpreter to decide whether the translation was correct. He concluded that the gist of what Jonker said was accurately relayed to Mngeni at the time.

Dayimani also eventually conceded that Mngeni had been accurately informed of his rights.

Henney criticised the lawyer for constantly raising new allegations without warning.

"You can't expect the State to close every avenue of escape. This is not a game," Henney said.

He postponed the trial until Tuesday, instructing Dayimani to go home and look at the video closely to see if there were time gaps or clues showing the video had been tampered with.

He could then cross-examine Jonker on the stand and, if necessary, call in his own expert to testify.

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

Join the conversation! 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 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

Partner Content
How data is changing investments

Technological disruption is rife in many spheres of business and given the quantity of data available, it’s no surprise that the way in which asset managers work is also changing fast.

Behind the sparkle

Alluring, beautiful and timeless - diamonds are some of the most sought after gems in the world and are a true testament of everlasting brilliance. Let us take you behind the sparkle to show you the history behind this coveted jewel.


Chocolate can be fatal for dogs

Chocolate contains a substance called theobromine that is similar to caffeine and is toxic to dogs at certain levels.



Spider-man star's adorable relationship with his dog
Do you know what you are feeding your dog?
Watch: Proof animals have souls
Would you clone your pet?
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 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.