Dewani accused’s statement on trial

Cape Town - A trial-within-a-trial of a man accused of killing honeymooner Anni Dewani was being heard in the Western Cape High Court on Monday.

Deputy director of public prosecutions Adrian Mopp said he wanted to admit into the court record a statement Xolile Mngeni made to police on November 16, 2010.

Xolile Mngeni. Photo: Brendan Magaar. Credit: INLSA

The State wanted to use the statement, containing “incriminating admissions”, during cross-examination later in the trial.

The defence objected to the admission of the statement, contending that the statement was not valid for a number of reasons.

Qalisile Dayimani, for Mngeni, alleged he was viciously assaulted during interrogation preceding the statement.

He also argued that Mngeni's pleas for legal representation were ignored, that he was told what to say by the officers interrogating him, and that the lengthy interrogation put him under pressure to make a statement.

Mngeni has pleaded not guilty to charges of kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances, murder, and illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Dewani was shot dead in Gugulethu in an apparent hijacking on November 13, 2010, while on honeymoon with her husband Shrien.

The State said it intended calling Captain Adolf Jonker as its next witness. Jonker was the Justice of the Peace, an independent official, who took down Mngeni's statement.

Judge Robert Henney would hear arguments and then decide whether the statement could be admitted. - Sapa