Mystery man identified in Dewani case

2012-09-13 22:04
Xolile Mngeni (AP)

Xolile Mngeni (AP)

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Cape Town - The identify of a mystery man "Mawewe", linked to the murder of honeymoon tourist Anni Dewani, was revealed in the Western Cape High Court on Thursday.

Lieutenant Colonel Bonginkosi Kwinana testified that after arresting Xolile Mngeni on 16 November 2010, he asked officers at the Lingelethu West police station in Khayelitsha if they knew "Mawewe", his alleged accomplice.

"Some members knew about him and even gave his real name as Simphiwe Gom. I got his address [from them]."

Kwinana said he and the rest of his Hawks unit went to the address, but Mawewe was not there. Mngeni led them to five or six other places, but he was nowhere to be found.

Mngeni is on trial for the hijack, robbery and murder of Anni Dewani in Gugulethu on 13 November 2010. She and her husband Shrien were being shuttled back to their hotel at the time of the apparent hijacking.

Mngeni was arrested by Kwinana and fellow members of a Hawks unit in an early morning raid on his Khayelitsha home.

He was not in his shack, but they found him at a nearby shack in the same street.

When they entered, Mngeni was sleeping on a bed with two women and another man.

The officers, in civilian clothes, produced identification and arrested Mngeni after reading him his rights.

A search of the shack revealed a cellphone wedged between the base of the bed and the mattress.

"Captain Paul Hendrikse then asked: 'Who does this cellphone belong to?' His [Mngeni's] response was: 'It belongs to the taxi driver'," Kwinana said.

The four were driven to the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations building in Bellville. During the commute, Mngeni told the officer he would co-operate.

"The accused was actually insisting he would co-operate with police... He did not deny anything at that stage, in fact at any stage," said Kwinana.

On arrival at the Hawks' building, Kwinana took Mngeni into his office so they could chat alone, as Mngeni was compliant and the officer "didn't want the intervention of other members".

Kwinana took notes, but did not compile a statement.

Mngeni promised to give a statement to another officer later.

With the chat wrapped up, Mngeni escorted the unit on their search for "Mawewe" and got to Lingelethu West around 07:30.

When the search proved fruitless, they returned to Bellville around noon.

Kwinana said he was with Mngeni from the time of his arrest until their return. Mngeni was then placed into a holding cell and he had no further contact with him.

He gave a statement to police that evening in the same building.

The court was hearing submissions in a trial-within-a-trial to determine whether the State can submit Mngeni's statement as a key piece of evidence.

Mngeni's defence has objected on the basis that their client was assaulted and told what to say. They also claim a video recording of the confession was tampered with, to edit out police officers entering the room.

The defence further claimed that Mngeni was interrogated for at least seven hours, from the time of his arrest to the time he was put in a cell.

At one point, it was suggested that Mngeni made two statements. This was later retracted.

Kwinana will be further cross-examined when the trial resumes on Monday.

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

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