Dewani is lying, he knows everything - witness

2014-11-10 18:46
(File: AFP)

(File: AFP)

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Cape Town - The lengthy cross-examination of the alleged middleman in the Shrien Dewani murder trial wrapped up on Monday, with the defence laying out its case once again that the murder was in fact a kidnapping that went wrong.

Dewani is on trial for allegedly masterminding the murder of his wife, Anni, in a staged hijacking in Cape Town in November 2010. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges against him.

Monde Mbolombo turned State witness and was granted immunity from prosecution in 2012, but has admitted that his role in the murder was greater than he had previously conceded, and that he had lied while giving previous testimony and in earlier statements.

Mbolombo was allegedly contacted by taxi driver Zola Tongo in order to find hitmen who would be able carry out "a job" for him.


His cross-examination started on Friday and continued on Monday with defence advocate Francois van Zyl questioning him closely on the timeline of events leading up to the murder, as well as the calls he made and received at the time. These included a request for gloves to conceal the hijackers' fingerprints, and arrangements about where the vehicle would be left after the hijacking.

During the morning, Mbolombo said he could not remember convicted hitman Mziwamadoda Qwabe's real name, and used the name Abongile instead. He continued to use this name, creating potential confusion as Qwabe was also referred to by his nickname, Spra, during the trial. He denied that he used this name in order to protect Qwabe.

Mbolombo insisted that two calls - to and from Tongo - had taken place, despite not appearing in the extensive phone records handed in as evidence.

Mbolombo was also grilled on why he had mentioned five people being involved in the murder plot, explaining that he could not remember why, and that the four who were involved included himself, Tongo, Qwabe, and Xolile Mngeni, who was jailed for life for firing the fatal shot.

Tongo had testified that the fifth person was Dewani himself, but Van Zyl challenged Mbolombo on whether there was perhaps another, yet unnamed, person involved in the crime.


Van Zyl later returned to the defence's theory that Mbolombo's testimony was improbable and that the four men had conspired to kidnap the wealthy foreign tourists and hold the wife for ransom money.

"Was there not another agenda, a completely different plan with this lady, that would lead to money in all your pockets?" Van Zyl asked, adding that Dewani will testify that he was not involved in a conspiracy to kill his wife.

"Mr Dewani is lying, he knows everything from beginning to end," Mbolombo quickly responded.

Van Zyl then challenged Mbolombo on the extent of his involvement in the murder plot, pointing out that he had lied in his earlier statements and was lucky not to have been prosecuted. "You got indemnity from the previous court on the back of a lot of lies you told that court. With you, we don't know where the lies stop," Van Zyl said.

Mbolombo retorted: "Like I said, today I am here to tell the truth as it is, I admit there were omissions in my statement, but everything now the truth.

"The three of us (Tongo, Qwabe and myself) know who was involved in this and it's Mr Shrien Dewani who is sitting there," Mbolombo said through his interpreter.

Read more on:    anni hindocha  |  shrien dewani  |  cape town  |  crime  |  dewani trial

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