Prints found on van Anni was killed in

2012-08-21 20:14

Cape Town - Anni Dewani murder accused Xolile Mngeni's palm print was found on the vehicle in which the honeymoon bride was killed, the Western Cape High Court heard on Tuesday.

Warrant Officer Johan Hanekom, a fingerprint expert, said there was no doubt in his mind the left palm print he lifted from the silver Volkswagen Sharan matched that of the accused.

Hanekom was the third witness to take the stand. He said he examined the vehicle at an official car impoundment lot on 14 November 2010.

Anni Dewani was shot in an apparent hijacking while on honeymoon with her husband Shrien in Cape Town, on 13 November 2010.

Mngeni was allegedly the man who pulled the trigger. He has pleaded not guilty to charges of kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances, murder, and the illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Hanekom said he lifted two palm prints from the driver's side of the car, one from the front fender, the other from the bonnet. The palms were pointed towards the back of the vehicle.

A copy of Mngeni's prints was given to him by Captain Paul Hendrikse on August 13 this year. A fresh set of prints was taken from Mngeni in court on Tuesday morning.

The prints were run through the automated fingerprint identification system, which brought up possible matches. Hanekom analysed them and spotted nine similarities while looking at one specific print. Only seven were needed to confirm a match. Two other experts verified the similarities.


A photo album of evidence collected at the murder scene was handed to Judge Robert Henney and each exhibit was entered into the record.

Earlier in the day, a second witness gave further details of the night he dropped off Mngeni and convicted killer Mziwamadoda Qwabe in Gugulethu. The witness could not be named as per a court order.

He said he had been drinking with a friend before he arrived at the Khayelitsha tavern Sop's Place at about 21:30 on 13 November 2010. At the tavern, he drank about 375ml of whisky.

Qwabe, who has been jailed for 25 years for his part in the murder, asked him for a lift. He told the court even though he could drive, walk, and see, he thought it better not to do so.

On Monday, he said Qwabe drove while he sat in the front seat. His male friend sat in the back seat with two women and Mngeni.

Matthews Dayimani, Mngeni's lawyer, asked the witness on Tuesday why his testimony mentioned six people, when his statement to police only made mention of five.

"I remember saying we were six," the witness said.

Dayimani asked if his memory was poor because he had been drinking that night. The witness chuckled and said he was adamant there were six people.

Dayimani said he would put it to the court that the witness was lying about Mngeni being in the car because he was enemies with him and his brother Luwando.

The lawyer said the witness and Mngeni were apparently involved in a tussle between 1999 and 2000, in which the accused hit him on the back of the head with a bottle.

"You are falsely implicating the accused because of the problems you had before," Dayimani said.

The witness said it was Luwando who hit him. He had no vendetta against Mngeni.

The lawyer said he intended proving that Mngeni was never in the car and had never spoken to the witness the night Dewani was killed.

The trial continues on Wednesday.