A terminally-ill hitman accused of pulling the trigger in the
murder of newlywed Anni Dewani during her South African honeymoon has been
convicted of murder.
Xolile Mngeni was hired by Mrs Dewani’s British husband, Shrien, to carry out
the killing in an attack designed to resemble a car hijacking in Cape Town’s
impoverished Gugulethu township. Mr Dewani is now
the only man implicated by authorities yet to face trial.
He was further
convicted of robbery with aggravating circumstances and illegal possession of a
firearm and ammunition.
‘The State has
proven its case beyond reasonable doubt,’ Judge Robert Henney told the court.
‘The case against
the accused is overwhelming and the accused could barely avoid the avalanche of
evidence from crashing down on him.’
acquitted of Mrs Dewani’s kidnapping – deemed to have been part of a single
chain of events leading to her murder.
He stood expressionless
as the judgment was delivered while his family watched, wide-eyed, from the
gallery above. At one stage it was thought Mngeni may not be fit to face the
charges because of a brain tumour.
It may not be fit
to face the charges because of a brain tumour.
Dewani, who has been held at Fromeside Clinic, a secure mental health hospital
in Bristol, is fighting extradition to South Africa.
In the video shown
in court, Mngeni said he asked Mawewe: ‘What are we going to do with these two
accomplice replied that he would separate the couple.
At this point, the
‘white man’ apparently said he could not be dropped off alone because ‘this is
The vehicle came to
a stop and Mawewe shouted to the man: ‘Voetsek, voetsek, get out, get out’.
His wife then
started crying. They drove off again and stopped a while later. Mngeni said
Mawewe tried to take a small bag from the woman but she held onto it.
He heard a gunshot,
and asked Mewewe what had caused him to release it. The accomplice told Mngeni
he could not tell him what to do and they got into an argument.
The vehicle was
eventually abandoned in Ilitha Park. The men saw two policemen and ran away,
hiding the phones and camera in a nearby bush, said Mngeni.