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Cape Town - Anni Dewani was murdered in Khayelitsha because the hitmen in the case did not have transport back to their homes in that area.
“As we were driving near Mew Way [we got near] to C Section, where we stay, that’s why [Xolile Mngeni] decided to shoot her,” Mziwamadoda Qwabe, who earlier this month pleaded guilty to his role in the murder, testified in the Western Cape High Court on Thursday.
Earlier this week, Qwabe testified that Zola Tongo, the chauffeur who also pleaded guilty to his involvement shortly after Anni’s killing, told him there was a husband who wanted his wife killed and that the crime needed to look like a hijacking.
Qwabe said he and Mngeni, fingered as the triggerman and whose trial he has been testifying in, had then been tasked with “hijacking” Tongo’s vehicle in Gugulethu as Tongo drove Anni and her husband Shrien Dewani around.
Dewani is accused of masterminding her murder.
On Thursday, Qwabe said after Tongo and Dewani were made to get out of the vehicle, he had driven Tongo’s car, with Mngeni in the front passenger seat and Anni in the back seat, towards Khayelitsha, where both he and Mngeni lived.
Qwabe said this was where they had needed to wrap up the crime.
“Because we didn’t have transport to Khayelitsha,” he said.
Qwabe said he had been “shocked” when he heard a gunshot go off at the back of the vehicle.
“I wasn’t expecting it so it gave me quite a fright. That’s why I stopped [the vehicle],” he said.
“The reason why I got a shock first of all, is because we did not discuss how we’d kill this lady.”
Qwabe had slowed down and parked the vehicle on a pavement in Ilitha Park, Khayelitsha.
Once the vehicle was stationary, he got out and saw Mngeni searching for something on the back seat where Anni was lying.
“I asked ‘did you shoot her’, he said yes,” Qwabe said.
Asked by Mngeni’s legal representative, Matthews Dayimani, if he had checked on Anni before leaving the scene, Qwabe said he had not. At this point Anni’s father, Vinod Hindocha, and cousin, Nishma Hindocha, who had been sitting at the front of the courtroom, walked out. Both had pained expressions.
Dayimani then put it to Qwabe that if he had been tasked with killing Anni, he should have checked to see if this had been done, but Qwabe said: “I did not check if she was dead or not.”
Earlier this week Qwabe testified that after shooting Anni, finding and then discarding the bullet casing, Qwabe and Mngeni had walked home. On Thursday, Qwabe said he had changed his initial not guilty plea to guilty because he had realised there was evidence pointing to him and his co-accused.
But Dayimani said Mngeni would deny having been with Qwabe the night Anni was killed and that Mngeni would state that after a brief encounter with Qwabe that day, Qwabe approached him the following day with two cellphones and a watch.
“The accused will state that when he received the items he had no knowledge they were stolen,” Dayimani said. The trial continues on Monday when another witness is expected to be called.