Expert testifies on Dewani killer's phone

2012-10-08 19:41

Cape town - A convicted killer of slain honeymooner Anni Dewani made the last call from his cellphone moments before she was killed, the Western Cape High Court heard on Monday.

Vodacom forensic expert Petro Heyneke said phone records showed the last call from Zola Tongo's number was at 22:53 on 13 November 2010.

The Nokia E90 phone was unavailable until 16:00 the next day, when it was switched on or entered an area with cellphone reception.

Heyneke was testifying in the trial of Xolile Mngeni, 25, who has pleaded not guilty to hijacking, robbing, and killing Dewani in Gugulethu on 13 November 2010.

Tongo had been shuttling Dewani and her husband Shrien around Cape Town during their honeymoon.

The taxi driver was jailed for 18 years as part of a plea bargain, in which he alleged Shrien arranged for the killing of his wife in a faked hijacking.

As part of the hijacking, his phone was taken and he was ejected from the vehicle.

The cellphone expert's evidence matched that of the testimony given by Mziwamadoda Qwabe, who was jailed for 25 years for his role in the murder.

He previously testified that he got a call from Tongo past 22:50, telling him "the husband wants the job to be done the same night".

Heyneke told the court a SIM card swap was requested soon after the phone was picked up on the network, on 14 November.

"At 17:13, a new sim card was issued [and] the user did a SIM swap. The SIM card was also placed in a new handset."

The new SIM card was in use until 25 November that year.

The expert was expected to testify about two other Vodacom numbers read out in court. An MTN expert would testify on a fourth cellphone number.

The trial continues.

  • lionel.defrontignac - 2012-10-08 20:10

    Ho Hum, this trial is dragging on unnecessarily: is it due to inept and lengthy cross-examination by Counsel for the Defence? A "lead every witness, even if they have no effect on the outcome" approach by Counsel For the State? Or is it a case of a dozy Judge? If a trial of this nature took that long in the Magistrate's Court, the Judges in the High Court would be on the Beak concerned like a ton of bricks, bleating about the right to a trial within a reasonable time. Of course, the High Court sets its own benchmark; another shining example of a speedy trial is the so-called Boeremag trial. Justice delayed is Justice denied.

  • wendy.schneider3 - 2012-10-08 20:24

    yes you are realy sick that's why the jail will be so good for you!

  • buti.lembe - 2012-10-08 21:33

    Who came up with an idea of RICA. It helps a lot.

  • carolyn.myburgh - 2012-10-09 10:46

    Enough with the back and forward nonsense get Dewani here to do his time

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