Dewani murder suspect goes on trial


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Independent Newspapers

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Johannesburg - The trial of one of the men accused of murdering honeymooner Anni Dewani will get under way in the Western Cape High Court on Wednesday.

The court heard a recent medical report which confirmed Xolile Mngeni was fit to stand trial, even though he had a malignant brain tumour.

His trial had been set down until the end of the court term on September 21.

The State originally intended calling 16 witnesses, but this was likely to be whittled down after his co-accused Mziwamadoda Qwabe's confessions, which implicated Mngeni.

Mngeni faces charges of kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances, murder, and the illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Dewani, 28, was shot in an apparent car hijacking while on honeymoon with her husband Shrien in Cape Town in November 2010.

Qwabe pleaded guilty to the same charges last week, as part of a plea and sentencing agreement. He was sentenced to in effect 25 years in jail.

The plea agreement offered insight into the apparent sequence of events the night of the murder, and implicated Shrien Dewani as the conspirator in a contract killing.

Shrien Dewani has repeatedly denied the allegations against him. He is being treated in Britain for depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The British Press Association reported at the time that the hearing was adjourned to September 18, for a psychiatrist to examine Dewani and give the court more information about his condition. - Sapa


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