Anni’s dad ‘so happy’ at third conviction

2012-11-20 00:00

CAPE TOWN — A father’s joy knew no bounds yesterday when he heard that yet another person had been convicted of the murder of his daughter, Anni Dewani.

Yesterday afternoon, Vinod Hindocha was still unaware that Xolile Mngeni (25) had been convicted in the Western Cape high court of the murder of Anni in November 2010.

Sister newspaper Die Burger phoned him in Sweden for his comments. When he heard about Mnge­ni’s conviction, the joy in his voice could be clearly heard thousands of kilometres away.

“I am so happy. No one would understand my joy.

“When will he be sentenced?” were his next words.

Mngeni is the third accused in the case. Two others, Zola Tongo and Mziwimadoda Qwabe, are already serving time for their respective roles in Dewani’s murder. Mngeni’s sentencing procedure starts tomorrow.

“All that is still needed now is for Shrien [Dewani] to be extradited to South Africa so that he can answer the unanswered questions,” Hindocha said.

He said he always knew that the South African justice system would not fail the family.

Shrien Dewani, the late Anni’s husband, was pointed out on December 7, 2010 by Tongo as the one behind the murder of his Swedish bride.

He has to appear in the Westminster magistrate’s court again on December 3 so that his extradition trial can begin.

In his judgment in the high court yesterday, Judge Robert Henney made it clear that this was not Shrien Dewani’s trial. “Mr Dewani was not the one charged.”

Mngeni — clothed in a floral shirt, denims and the Lacoste tackies he bought the day after Anni Dewani’s murder — showed no emotion.

When approached for comment after the ruling, he told journalists, “Come and visit me in Pollsmoor.”

The court rejected Mngeni’s alibi as lies. The court also found that he was the one who shot Anni.

Henney found Mngeni not guilty of abduction.

Henney described Qwabe’s version of the events as clear, detailed and chronological. “He was exposed to severe cross-examination, but nevertheless did not contradict himself.”

Large parts of Qwabe’s testimony were backed up by other witnesses and evidence.

The court also ruled that certain witnesses whose names could not previously be disclosed, may now be named. They are Monde Mbolombo, the hotel porter described as middle man in the murder, and Sipho Qakaza and Likhaya Bacela, both friends of Mngeni.

The case against Mngeni was so overwhelming that he could not avoid the flood of evidence, Henney found.

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