Thursday 14 November 2019

Murder of honeymoon bride: Two men to go on trial in South Africa

Two men accused of killing honeymoon bride Anni Dewani will go on trial in South Africa next year.

Xolile Wellington Mngeni and Mziwamadoda Lennox Qwabe appeared at Wynberg Regional Court in Cape Town today to face charges of murder, kidnapping and aggravated robbery.

The two men, who are also accused of illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, will face trial at Western Cape High Court.

Mngeni, who has a malignant brain tumour, was helped into the dock by his co-accused today before they were committed for trial.

During their last hearing, from which Mngeni was absent, the court undertook to decide by today whether to abandon the charges against him because of his condition, meaning they would only proceed with the case against Qwabe.

But today there was no mention of his tumour.

Mrs Dewani, 28, was shot dead in an apparent carjacking in the impoverished Gugulethu township on the outskirts of Cape Town last November.

Her husband Shrien, 31, and cabbie Zola Tongo were ejected from the vehicle.

Businessman Dewani, of Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol, was later accused of ordering the attack.

Last month a judge ruled he could be extradited to South Africa to stand trial.

Dewani has consistently denied any involvement.

But he was implicated by Tongo, 31, who claimed in a plea bargain that Dewani had offered him 15,000 rand (£1,400) for the killing.

The cabbie, from Bothasig, has been sentenced to 18 years in jail for murder, kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances and perverting the course of justice.

A pre-trial hearing has been scheduled in the High Court for February 10 for both Mngeni and Qwabe.

This is to ensure there are no unforeseen hitches which could delay the legal process.

A date for the trial has yet to be set.

PA Media

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