Accused: Xolile Mngeni appears in the Cape Town High Court accused of killing Anni Dewani in a murder allegedly plotted by her British husband Shrien Dewani. picture: Gallo Images
Dewani murder accused Xolile Mngeni’s explanation of his whereabouts on the night Anni Dewani was killed, as well as the testimony of two defence witnesses, are fabrications, the state argued yesterday.
Presenting closing arguments in the Western Cape High Court, state prosecutor Adriaan Mopp said the alibis presented by two defence witnesses were “fabrications”.
Mopp said all evidence pointed to Mgeni’s guilt, including the accused’s own testimony accepted by the court.
Mngeni, who is 25 years old, has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, robbery, kidnapping and possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition related to the killing of Swedish citizen Anni Dewani.
She was shot on November 13, 2010 after an apparent hijacking in Gugulethu.
Mopp argued that Qwabe’s testimony was supported by eight other state witnesses.
Qwabe was sentenced to 25 years in August for the murder and fingered Mngeni as the one who fired the shot.
Qwabe’s testimony was supported by the recovery of a Blackberry phone, a watch and a bracelet belonging to Anni Dewani, as well as an E90 Nokia phone belonging to the driver of the car in which the couple were hijacked, Zola Tongo.
Tongo, who is currently serving 18 years for the role he played in Anni’s murder, testified that Anni’s husband Shrien Dewani requested he put him in touch with a hit-man that would carry out the killing.
The state had put 26 witnesses on the stand and the testimony of 20 of them against Mngeni had not been disputed.
“We have overwhelming evidence against the accused. “There is sufficient collaboration in Qwabe’s evidence,” Mopp told Henney.
But the version of events given by both defence witnesses as to Mngeni’s whereabouts on the night of the murder were fabricated, Mopp said.
“If one listens to Nombulelo (one of the defence witnesses) and listens to the accused, (these are) completely different versions.”
Mngeni “was a poor witness”.
“His version was false. The accused was indeed an accomplice. The intention was to kill and it is a premeditated murder,” Mopp said.
He said the state had proved beyond reasonable doubt that on November 12, 2010, Qwabe was contacted by a man, who has since turned state witness, to kill Anni Dewani, following which Qwabe contacted Mngeni.
The state contended that Qwabe, Mngeni and Tongo met on the afternoon of November 13 and discussed the murder.
The couple were subjected to a planned hijacking while Tongo was driving them back to their hotel. Mngeni robbed the deceased of her personal items before killing her with a single gunshot in the neck. Defence representative Qalisile Dayimani is today expected to give reasons why charges against Mngeni should be dropped. – WCN