Dewani trial lawyer laughs off claim

2012-08-23 22:32

Cape Town - The private lawyer of a man on trial for Anni Dewani's murder laughed off a rumour on Thursday that he was being funded by the family of her husband Shrien.

"No, no, no. I wouldn't have accepted [if that was the case]," he said outside the Western Cape High Court, at the end of the sixth day of Xolile Mngeni's trial.

"We have private funders, people who have interest in the matter. We have been approached by human rights guys and we have noted as well that there are human rights issues," he said.

"So it's partly privately funded, [partly] pro-bono."

Mngeni has been found fit to stand trial despite having a malignant brain tumour.

He was allegedly the man who shot Anni Dewani while she and Shrien were on honeymoon in Cape Town in November 2010.

Her husband has been accused of masterminding his wife's murder and of making it look like a hijacking, but he has repeatedly denied the allegations. He is being treated in the United Kingdom for depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

At the end of July, his lawyer Claire Montgomery told the Westminster Magistrate's Court that keeping her client under medical treatment in the UK for 12 months would speed up his recovery. This would be jeopardised if he was instead sent to South Africa.

The British Press Association reported that the hearing was adjourned to 18 September for a psychiatrist to examine Dewani and to give the court more information about his condition.

Mngeni has pleaded not guilty to charges of kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances, murder, and the illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.

At the end of last year, he elected to use a private lawyer instead of the Legal Aid lawyer who had been representing him in the Wynberg Regional Court.

His family was said to be in financial difficulties, which raised the question of where the money was coming from for his legal fees.

His trial resumes on Monday.

  • andre.vandeventer.16 - 2012-08-24 07:21

    Accused should not be allowed to appear in court with their heads covered. Courts are supposed to be open, meaning that anyone is entitled to attend. It would also implicate that the defendants may be identified unless there are special circumstances. This happening too often in courts nowadays. This would never had happened in the old SA when there was law and order!

  • tyrone.merwe - 2012-08-24 07:26

    Got the balls to commit the murder, have the balls to stand the trial. Knows his gonna get ass raped in south africa

      stirrer.stirrer - 2012-08-24 10:50

      Talking about Shrien? Rumour has it that it will be consensual.

  • gillian.sanderson - 2012-08-24 07:27

    . . . time this trial came to an end now!

  • atholl.canterbury - 2012-08-24 07:39

    Law ... is a dirty game. Any means to achieve any end. It makes a lot of sense when you're sitting 8,000 km away - in the headlights of an oncoming train, .. knowing that evidence and your own conduct points to your guilt .. to try and derail the train or at least deviate it to another track. A person who uses a modus operandi of using others to commit a crime (hitman on the street) will use the same m. o. to escape the crime (useful witness in court).

  • Nicolette Leong - 2012-08-24 07:41

    He needs to get his ass back to south africa, he mad south africa look very bad, tourists were afraid to come to cape town he needs to come back and get tortured

      sekalf.nroc - 2012-08-24 08:02

      Nicolette, I agree that he must stand trial and get locked up... and that he is an idiot! Saying he must get tortured is backward... Regards to the country side!

  • richardnealejohn.underwood - 2012-08-24 08:10

    Dewani's damned lawyer can give him depression tabs in gaol , they can put him in solitary for 12 months to recuperate . If he makes it to gaol here he'll get cured of depression very quickly ,he'll soon run on full compression ,in fact . He'll get pumped up properly like he should

  • joy.skene - 2012-08-24 08:52

    How come Dewani is sheltered due to the fear of an unfair trial in SA, yet they want to arrest Assenge and send him to Sweden where there no charges have been laid?.... double standards and politics I suspect

  • ndou.miranda - 2012-08-24 12:36

    will this trial ever end.

  • carolyn.dewrance - 2012-08-25 09:59

    Show his face.

  • nasheenar - 2012-08-27 16:27

    Arent they fortunate to have the human rights funding their case. Pity Anni wasnt entitled to human rights. Take these things round the back of the court house and shoot them in their heads.

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