Mngeni was the brawn: State

2012-11-05 16:57
(AP)

(AP)

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Cape Town - The State can prove Xolile Mngeni shot honeymooner Anni Dewani, the Western Cape High Court has heard.

Deputy director of public prosecutions Adrian Mopp said Mngeni's involvement could be proven by the testimony of one of her convicted killers, Mziwamadoda Qwabe, and backed up with the evidence of multiple witnesses.

"Sorry to be crude, but Qwabe was the brains and Mngeni was the brawn," Mopp said.

Qwabe, serving a 25-year jail term for his role in the murder, had testified Mngeni was both his accomplice and the shooter.

The State believed Qwabe had been a credible witness and had nothing to gain by incriminating Mngeni.

Mngeni has pleaded not guilty to kidnapping, hijacking and killing Dewani in Gugulethu on 13 November 2010.

She was on honeymoon with her husband Shrien at the time.

Qwabe testified that after hijacking the Dewanis, he pushed the shuttle driver Zola Tongo into the back seat of the vehicle and hopped into the driver's seat.

Mngeni sat in the front passenger seat while the couple sat in the back with Tongo.

After ordering Tongo and Shrien out, they drove around with the tourist bride in the back.

He had said that shortly afterwards, Mngeni pulled the trigger without warning, killing Dewani.

Reprisal

Mngeni said Qwabe had been driving, he had been sitting in the front seat and that Qwabe fired the shot.

Mopp said various witnesses backed up Qwabe's version.

Mngeni's neighbour and good friend had testified that the accused told him the day after the murder that he had shot and killed someone.

"...He robbed the person and shot the person and I thought he was joking when he said this," the friend said at the time.

The court ordered his identity be withheld for fear of reprisal.

Mopp said a ballistics expert had testified the shot was likely fired from the front passenger seat where Mngeni had apparently been sitting.

Warrant Officer Pieter Engelbrecht said at the time the bullet was shot from the front left seat to the back right seat of the hijacked VW Sharan.

Mngeni's lawyer said that he could not have fired the bullet because of an injury to the left hand.

The State said that according to Engelbrecht, a gun could be prepared and fired with one hand.

"There is sufficient evidence for the court to make that finding," Mopp said.

He said that although the court did not have to make a finding on who the shooter was, it could "safely" find Mngeni had acted in common purpose as part of a conspiracy.

The trial continues.





- SAPA
Read more on:    anni hindocha  |  xolile mngeni  |  shrien dewani  |  cape town
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