'Dewanis begged for their lives'

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Copy of ca p4 anni best done AP Undated handout photo of Shrien Dewani and Anni Dewani (right) made available by the Bristol Evening Post. (AP Photo/ Bristol Evening Post via PA )

Cape Town - A couple whose vehicle was hijacked in Gugulethu begged not to be killed, the Western Cape High Court heard on Tuesday.

In a video shown in court, Xolile Mngeni was seen telling this to a police officer taking his statement on November 16, 2010.

He said he and a man named “Mawewe” hijacked a vehicle in Gugulethu on November 13, 2010, with a “white man and woman” sitting in the back seat.

“They said please don't kill us... They took out two phones and a camera. I told them: you are not going to be killed.”

The video formed part of a trial-within-a-trial, in which the judge had to decide whether the State could admit the video as evidence to be used later in the trial. The defence had argued the statement was made under duress and also questioned the video's authenticity.

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

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

Mngeni said in the video that he asked Mawewe: “What are we going to do with these two people?” The alleged accomplice replied that he would separate the couple.

At this point, the “white man” apparently said he could not be dropped off alone because “this is his wife”.

The vehicle came to a stop and Mawewe shouted to the man:

“Voetsek, voetsek, get out, get out”.

His wife then started crying.

They drove off again and stopped a while later in Kuyasa.

Mngeni said Mawewe tried to take a small bag from the woman, but she held onto it.

He heard a gunshot, and asked Mewewe what had caused him to release it.

The accomplice told Mngeni he could not tell him what to do and they got into an argument.

The vehicle was eventually abandoned in Ilitha Park.

The men saw two policemen and ran away, hiding the phones and camera in a nearby bush, said Mngeni.

The trial continues. - Sapa



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