Dewani pre-trial conference postponed

2012-04-13 16:00

Cape Town - The pre-trial conference of Xolile Mngeni and Mziwamadoda Qwabe, accused of murdering honeymooner Anni Dewani, was postponed for a week by the Western Cape High Court on Friday.

South Africa is trying to extradite Anni's husband, businessman Shrien Dewani, from the United Kingdom to stand trial for her murder.

Anni, 28, was shot dead in an apparent car hijacking while she and her husband were on honeymoon in Cape Town in November 2010.

An order for his extradition was signed by the UK secretary of state in September, but Britain's High Court temporarily halted the extradition on mental health grounds, saying it would be "unjust and oppressive".

He would be extradited to South Africa as soon as he was fit. Dewani is being treated in a mental health hospital in his hometown of Bristol, western England.

Turned State witness

Mngeni and Qwabe face counts of kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances, murder, and two charges relating to the illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.

The alleged conspiracy to murder Anni also involved two other men - shuttle bus driver Zola Robert Tongo and Monde Mbolombo.

Tongo is already serving an 18-year jail sentence following plea bargain proceedings. Mbolombo has turned State witness and is expected to testify in the trial of Mngeni and Qwabe.

EyeWitness News (EWN) reported on Friday that Judge President John Hlophe refused to have anything more to do with the case, because he presided over Tongo's case.

Another judge would be appointed when the case resumed.

According to EWN, Mngeni and Qwabe seemed anxious in the dock, and as the case was adjourned, they ducked and dived from photographers.

Shrien Dewani, identified as accused number three in court papers, was mentioned in court.

The state indicated it was ready to proceed with the trial with or without Dewani.

  • nasheenar - 2012-04-13 16:34

    So he probably will be mentally ill till the day he dies.

  • Scouter - 2012-04-13 17:06

    Good grief! Is there no legal procedure, hearing or inquest that does not first have to be postponed, delayed or put on the 'back-burner' as a matter of course in SA?

  • Gieljam - 2012-04-13 17:52

    Eish, And he has the audacity to say he doesn't want to come here because he will not get a fair trial here and the jails are a danger ?...That's mos an insult to our judiciary since democracy all here know very well that our system in most cases assists the guilty and ( blames)the victim

  • Gieljam - 2012-04-13 18:02

    Actually I am still very hurt over the death of this lady. It was so unnecessary ,S he was with out a doubt a lovely person and all that were involved in her murder should not have got a jailed sentence but a death sentence "finish en klaar"

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