Jade Otto

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XOLILE Mngeni, one of the men accused of murdering British bride Anni Dewani, was a drug dealer, the Western Cape High Court has heard.

Yesterday, Mngeni’s lawyer, Matthews Dayimani, cross-examined the State’s 10th witness on day 14 of the trial. Dayimani suggested to the witness, whose identity is being withheld for fear of reprisals, that Mngeni had supplied him with tik during 2010.

“My instructions are you were provided, at times, with tik, from [Mngeni],” Dayimani said.

“I have nothing to do with tik,” the witness responded.

Dayimani said the witness and his friends would give Mngeni cellphones, instead of money, in exchange for tik. “No, there was no such thing,” the witness said.

On Wednesday, the witness, who lives on the same street as Mngeni in Khayelitsha, testified that Mngeni arrived at his shack at about 12.30am on November 14, 2010 – just hours before Anni was murdered.

The State alleges that Mngeni and two other men, Mziwamadoda Qwabe and Zola Tongo, planned Anni’s murder, allegedly under the instruction of her husband, Shrien.

The witness testified further that Mngeni told him that he had robbed a person of a phone in Ilitha Park and that he had shot a woman.

Dayimani told the witness that his client denied that the meeting between the two had taken place shortly after midnight that Sunday and that he had told him that he had robbed and shot a woman.

“No, what [Mngeni] is saying isn’t correct. We met… No, that was something he uttered,” the witness said.

Dayimani also grilled the witness about a statement he made to police shortly after he and Mngeni were arrested on November 16, 2010.

After undergoing police questioning, the witness was released while Mngeni was formally charged. In his statement to police, the witness said he woke up at 9.30am that Sunday, waited for Mngeni, and then the two of them and a third friend took two taxis to the V&A Waterfront.

On their arrival, they bought green Lacoste takkies, a K-Way lumber jacket and another pair of takkies.

According to purchase records at the store, the Lacoste takkies were purchased at 9.53am. Dayimani said that there was a discrepancy between the times and that it would not have been possible for the takkies to have been bought at that time if he only woke up at 9.30am.

“That’s why I said there could’ve been a problem with my phone but when I looked at the time it was 9.30am,” the witness said.

The trial continues on Monday.