Dewani: NPA set for trialComment on this story
The day of reckoning is beckoning for two men accused of killing Anni Dewani.
The pair, Mziwamadoda Qwabe and Xolile Mngeni, had their last pre-trial conference before Western Cape High Court Judge André le Grange on May 18.
And again on Wednesday, the High Court will hear whether their defence teams are ready for action on Monday morning at yet another hearing.
On Monday, National Prosecuting Authority provincial spokesman Eric Ntabazalila said: “The State is ready to proceed with the trial.”
While the trial was ready to go ahead as scheduled from their side, he warned that another pre-trial would take place on Wednesday. “to ensure that all parties are ready”.
It was reported in May that the two men intended to plead not guilty.
In past pre-trial conferences, the health of Mngeni, who has a brain tumour, was raised. His attorney, Matthews Dayimani, said in May that they were still awaiting the results of recent brain scans to determine whether his client would be able to stand trial, and this matter could be raised at Wednesday’s pre-trial.
Meanwhile, in the UK, the Westminster Crown Court will Tuesday consider the Shrien Dewani extradition case on Tuesday.
“It’s a continuation of the earlier ruling which said that Dewani could not be extradited until his condition had improved,” Ntabazalila said.
“The Westminster Crown Court asked Judge (Howard) Riddle to monitor Dewani’s status so as to make a determination whether he was ready to be extradited.”
Anni Dewani, 28, was shot dead in 2010 when a taxi in which the couple were travelling was hijacked in Gugulethu. She was found dead in the back of the abandoned vehicle in Khayelitsha with a bullet wound to her neck.
Dewani’s husband allegedly masterminded the murder, paying Qwabe, Mngeni and taxi driver Zola Tonga to kill his bride. In March, Dewani’s extradition to SA was halted on mental health grounds.
Two judges in London ruled that it would be “unjust and oppressive” to order the removal of the British businessman, who is accused of arranging the contract killing of his wife in Cape Town in November 2010 during their honeymoon.
Tongo, who drove the newlyweds through Gugulethu, was later arrested and pleaded guilty to the crime.
He is now serving an 18-year sentence.