Judge to decide on Dewani discharge

2014-11-25 20:38
(File: AFP)

(File: AFP)

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Judge will now decide if Dewani trial will be dismissed

2014-11-25 14:52

Deputy Judge President Jeanette Traverso will now take two weeks to decide whether Shrien Dewani's case will be dismissed. Watch.WATCH

Cape Town - British businessman Shrien Dewani will have to wait almost two weeks to hear whether his application to be discharged of killing his wife has been successful.

Western Cape High Court Deputy Judge President Jeanette Traverso said on Tuesday she would deliver a ruling on 8 December unless she let the parties know otherwise.

"I obviously want to take time to consider the conclusions to which I will come," she said.

Dewani's legal team brought the application last week in terms of section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Act, which opened up the way for a discharge if the court believed there was no credible evidence at the close of the State's case.

The defence presented their argument on Monday and the State on Tuesday.

As prosecutor Adrian Mopp was bringing his argument to a close, Traverso asked if he agreed that their case rested on a single witness with regards to a conspiracy to kill Anni Hindocha.

Mopp agreed that shuttle taxi driver Zola Tongo, as an accomplice witness, was the only person who communicated with Dewani.

Traverso said he was an unsatisfactory witness, even conceded to by the State.

"Not so unsatisfactory as to draw a line through the rest of the evidence," Mopp replied.

The judge said the legal test was that there had to be corroboration implicating the accused, which did not seem to be present in this case.

Mopp said they could point to additional circumstantial evidence.

Dewani is on trial for allegedly plotting with Tongo and others to kill his wife Anni while they were on honeymoon on Cape Town in November 2010.

He has pleaded not guilty to charges including kidnapping, murder and defeating the ends of justice.

He claims the couple was hijacked while Tongo drove them through Gugulethu in his minibus on Saturday, 13 November 2010.

He was released unharmed and Anni was driven away. She was found shot dead in the abandoned minibus in Khayelitsha the next morning.

The State alleges he conspired with others to stage the hijacking, for which he paid R15 000.

Dewani maintains that Tongo helped him organise a surprise helicopter trip for Anni for R15 000.

Tongo is serving an 18-year jail term and Mziwamadoda Qwabe a 25-year jail term. Xolile Mngeni was serving life in jail for firing the shot that killed Anni, but died in prison from a brain tumour on 18 October.

Hotel receptionist Monde Mbolombo was granted immunity from prosecution on two charges during Mngeni's trial but was warned he faced possible prosecution on various charges if he did not testify truthfully during Dewani's trial.

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

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