Phone use was innocent, says Mngeni lawyer

2012-10-10 21:08
Xolile Mngeni (Picture: AP)

Xolile Mngeni (Picture: AP)

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Cape Town - A man on trial for Anni Dewani's murder used his best friend's phone for an innocent purpose, the Western Cape High Court heard on Wednesday.

Xolile Mngeni, 25, only borrowed his friend Siyabonga Gwele's phone to upload and download music, his lawyer Qalisile Dayimani said.

"This would not take more than an hour," he said.

He denied his client ever kept the Sony Ericsson phone overnight.

Gwele, 23, stuck by his testimony on Wednesday and said Mngeni had definitely used his phone for extended periods of time.

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

Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, Adrian Mopp, had earlier informed Gwele that phone records showed numerous calls between his phone number and that of convicted killer Mziwamadoda Qwabe between 11 November and 15 November 2010.

Mopp asked if Gwele knew Qwabe, whose nickname was "Spra".

Gwele replied that he had seen him walking around Khayelitsha. He said he had never spoken to him on his phone at any time, despite "Spra" being listed on his cellphone contacts.

Mngeni had previously denied being friends with Qwabe, who is serving a 25-year jail term for his role in the murder.

The court heard that Qwabe made 13 calls to Gwele's number in the time around the killing.

On 11 November that year, four calls were made in the evening between 19:20 and 21:30. None were made the next day.

On the Saturday Dewani was killed, two calls were made at 15:39 and 20:10.

On the Sunday, Qwabe phoned six times between 10:04 and 23:00.

Mngeni's lawyer asked Gwele if he ever let anyone else use his phone. Gwele replied his sister, and especially cousins, would borrow the phone.

"How long before his [Mngeni's] arrest was the phone returned to you?" Judge Robert Henney asked.

"I heard from my sister he was arrested... When he was arrested, the phone was [already] in my possession," the friend replied.

The trial was postponed until Wednesday, when the investigating officer and a geo-mapping expert are expected to testify.

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

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