Honeymooner Anni Dewani accused made surprise admissions

By IndepthAfrica
In South Africa
Oct 9th, 2012
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Cape Town – A man made surprise admissions on Tuesday in connection with honeymooner Anni Dewani’s murder.

Xolile Mngeni, 25, who is on trial for her death, signed a document in the Western Cape High Court confirming that the body found in Khayelitsha in November, 2010, was that of Dewani’s and that her death was caused by a gunshot.

He admitted that a woman’s watch and bracelet found in his friend’s Khayelitsha shack after the murder belonged to Dewani.

He also confirmed a Blackberry 9700 cellphone recovered from a school teacher had belonged to the tourist.

The remainder of admissions centred around the crime scene investigation and linked exhibits. Mngeni has pleaded not guilty to kidnapping, robbing and killing the tourist in 2010.

At the start of his trial, he made no formal admissions and many witnesses were called to prove facts in the State’s case.

Deputy director of public prosecutions Adrian Mopp said the admissions on Tuesday had reduced the number of remaining witnesses to four or five.

The admissions were entered into the court record after Captain Clifford Smith, a forensic police investigator, was called to the stand.

Instead of Smith testifying extensively on his findings on 14 November 2010, Mngeni confirmed the findings.

The first was that Smith examined a silver VW Sharan and retrieved a bullet from the back cushion of the right rear car seat. He then collected four samples of gunshot primer residue in the car.

Mngeni did not dispute that a few days later, police retrieved a firearm and ammunition in Khayelitsha, as well as a cartridge in a drain pointed out by alleged accomplice and convicted killer Mziwamadoda Qwabe.

He did also not deny that a day after Dewani was killed, he bought a green pair of Lacoste shoes for R695 and a K-Way jacket for R799, from the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town.

Regarding phone evidence, he confirmed that a Nokia E90 phone confiscated by Captain Paul Hendrikse during his arrest belonged to shuttle driver Zola Tongo.

He said data extracted from the Nokia E90, a Nokia 2700 and a ZTE phone after the killing was an accurate and complete reflection of what was on the devices.

Qalisile Dayimani, for Mngeni, said the admissions had been made because it did not prejudice his client and would speed up proceedings.

“No. It relates to the investigation that really doesn’t go against the defence that we raised. It doesn’t place him on the crime scene,” he said.

He said his client was not found with Dewani’s possessions and there was, therefore, no harm in identifying them.

A pathologist was likely to testify when the trial resumes on Wednesday.

- SAPA

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