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Cape Town - Day 12 of the trial into the murder of Anni Dewani was cut short after the man accused of murdering her fell ill and vomited blood during the lunch break in the Western Cape High Court.
After 2pm on Tuesday, Xolile Mngeni’s lawyer, Matthews Dayimani, told Judge Robert Henney that his client was sick. “I request that he be seen by a medical doctor to see what his problem is… he has also been vomiting blood,” Dayimani said.
He said the court orderly informed him that Mngeni took ill at about noon, when the court took an early lunch break so the State could prepare its 10th witness. It is not clear who the witness is because the State’s list of witnesses has been kept top secret since the start of the trial.
State prosecutor Shareen Riley said there had been attempts to intimidate the witness. She said Mngeni’s brother had allegedly offered the witness money to leave the Western Cape.
Judge Henney said he could not proceed while Mngeni was not well. He adjourned proceedings so that Mngeni could be examined by a district surgeon.
Before lunch, a witness testified that he had seen Mngeni in possession of a watch, BlackBerry cellphone and digital camera.
Anni and her husband, Shrien, were allegedly robbed of these items during a hijacking the court has heard was staged.
Mngeni has been identified by witnesses in court as the man who pulled the trigger on November 13, 2010, killing Anni with a single shot.
He has denied this.
The Khayelitsha man, whose identity is being protected because he fears for his life, testified that he saw Mngeni with Mziwamadoda Qwabe and Zola Tonga in a VW Sharan just hours before the murder.
Qwabe and Tonga have acknowledged playing a role in the murder and are serving prison terms.
The witness said when Mngeni got out of the vehicle, he saw him carrying a pistol wrapped in a white plastic bag. A day after the murder, the witness saw Mngeni again, allegedly in possession of a Giorgio Armani watch which he wanted to sell for R400. Later, Mngeni agreed to walk home with the witness and on the way, the witness saw a camera on him.
“I switched [the camera] on and saw a married couple on it. The man had a suit on and the woman had a dress on that women wear when they get married
. Watti (Mngeni) requested that we delete the photos. I showed the photos to [a friend]… I deleted a couple… [the friend] deleted the rest.” - Cape Argus