Trial of Dewani murder-accused to start

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IOL Mngeni INSLA File photo: Xolile Mngeni struggles out of the dock after appearing at the Cape Town High Court in connection with the murder of Anni Dewani.

Cape Town - The trial of one of the men accused of murdering honeymooner Anni Dewani will start on Wednesday in the Western Cape High Court.

Judge Robert Henney told the State and defence at pre-trial proceedings on Monday that he would accept no further delays in the case against Xolile Mngeni.

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

His lawyer Matthews Dayimani said the report concluded his client's “attentional focus” was slightly reduced.

At a previous appearance, Dayimani said he doubted his client would be able to concentrate during proceedings.

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.

Co-accused Mziwamadoda 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.

Qwabe alleged that he and Mngeni agreed to the job in exchange for R15 000.

He further alleged that Mngeni was the one who pulled the trigger. - Sapa

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