Dewani murder exhibits tell a tale
Cape Town -
The trail of a pistol, two cellphones and jewellery that have become exhibits in the trial of Xolile Mngeni, Anni Dewani’s alleged triggerman, has become clearer in the Western Cape High Court.
Mngeni has denied kidnapping, robbing and murdering Anni Dewani on November 13, 2010, crimes the State believes were orchestrated by her husband, Shrien Dewani.
The four main items forming exhibits in the trial are:
Exhibit 1: A firearm and four rounds of ammunition.
A friend of Mngeni’s, who may not be named for fear of reprisal, said on the afternoon of November 13, 2010, he had seen Mngeni with a firearm covered in a white carrier bag.
He said Mngeni later put the firearm, still in the plastic, under Mngeni’s mattress.
About two weeks ago, Mziwamadoda Qwabe, who last month pleaded guilty to his role in Anni Dewani’s murder, said it was his firearm which Mngeni had returned to him a day after Anni’s killing.
Qwabe, who then gave his firearm to a friend to keep, said he had pointed it out to police after his arrest.
The State has indicated that the firearm was the one used to kill Anni Dewani.
Exhibit 2: A brown Nokia cellphone.
A close friend of Mngeni’s, who may not be named, said after midnight on November 14, 2010, Mngeni arrived at his shack with a brown Nokia cellphone, which Mngeni said he had picked up.
In the early hours of November 16, 2010, police arrived at the witness’s shack in which Mngeni, the witness and two women were sleeping.
“They found the Nokia under the mattress, on the side on which (Mngeni) was sleeping,” the witness said.
Exhibit 3: (A) watch, and (B) a silver bracelet.
Alice Mcinga confirmed that on November 16, 2010, Mngeni, her nephew and two women were arrested in a shelter at the back of her home.
After this, she had gone to the shelter, made of corrugated iron, to clean up and found the watch and bracelet in a plastic money bag “where the corrugated iron is forming part of the roof”.
“I took these items and hid them… I went to (Mngeni’s grandmother) and said if the police arrive, she must send them to me,” Mcinga said.
Anni Dewani’s father, Vinod Hindocha, called as a witness, confirmed Exhibits 3A and 3B had belonged to his daughter.
Exhibit 4: A BlackBerry cellphone.
A Khayelitsha resident, 44, who may not be named for fear of reprisals, said around noon on November 14, 2010, she was on her way to a taxi rank.
She saw Mngeni, who told her he was selling his BlackBerry for R500.
The resident told Mngeni to return at a later stage, and at about 7pm he arrived at her home with the cellphone, which was switched off and had no SIM card.
He wanted R500.
Mngeni did not return for the R500 the next day, and on November 18, after 2am, he arrived at the resident’s house in the company of police.
“The police officer took the phone, put it in a light-colour plastic bag and sealed the bag,” she said.
The trial continues on Monday.