Xolile Mngeni. Picture: Schalk van Zuydam

Cape Town -

Xolile Mngeni, the man convicted of the murder of honeymooner Anni Dewani, is in a critical condition in hospital, the Department of Correctional Services said on Saturday.

Simphiwe Xako, the department’s Western Cape spokesman, said Mngeni was being treated at Groote Schuur Hospital.

Mngeni was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2011. He was operated on to remove the tumour, and later had radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

A Groote Schuur Hospital report, submitted in court during Mngeni’s trial, showed that he had been diagnosed with pineoblastoma - a rare form of cancer with a low survival rate.

A scan in late 2012 appeared to show the cancer had been successfully treated.

But Jeanette Parkes, head of the clinical unit of Groote Schuur Hospital’s radiation oncology department, cautioned at the time that if the tumour recurred treatment options would be limited.

Incarcerated at first in Pollsmoor Prison, Mngeni was later moved to Brandvlei Prison, which has better medical facilities.

Yesterday Xako couldn’t say if Mngeni had been admitted to hospital as a result of cancer or its complications.

Mngeni was found guilty of murdering Anni Dewani, the bride of Shrien Dewani, during a staged hijacking on November 13, 2010.

In December 2012, the Western Cape High Court sentenced Mngeni to life imprisonment for Anni’s murder.

Sunday Argus