Dewani murder accused in court

2011-09-20 07:26

The man accused of firing the shot that killed honeymoon bride Anni Dewani is expected to appear in the Wynberg Regional Court today.

Xolile Mngeni (23) who has undergone surgery for a malignant brain tumour, could be declared unfit to stand trial, The New Age reported last week.

If Mngeni failed to appear with his co-accused, Mziwamadoda Qwabe (26) all charges against him would be provisionally withdrawn, the daily reported.

He would then immediately be freed from Pollsmoor Prison, where he has been held for the last year while awaiting trial.

Dewani’s body was found slumped on the backseat of a taxi, which had abandoned in Khayelitsha, on November 13.

Her husband Shrien Dewani has been accused of masterminding the murder and faces deportation from the UK to stand trial in Cape Town.

If Mngeni is released on medical grounds, he will remain a free man for the rest of his natural life, unless his medical condition improves enough for him to be declared fit to stand trial.

Mngeni and Qwabe are two of four people arrested for the murder.

The others are middleman Monde Mbolombo, who turned state witness against Qwabe and Mgeni, then implicated Shrien Dewani and taxi driver Zola Tongo.

Tongo is serving 18 years for his role in the murder and hijacking, which he claims was masterminded by the UK businessman.

Dewani is expected to appeal against a UK court’s extradition order, if it is approved by British Home Secretary Theresa May in mid-October.

Mngeni has been undergoing extensive chemotherapy and craniospinal radiotherapy at Groote Schuur Hospital for the past month.

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