Life sentence handed down for Dewani killer
The Western Cape High Court has sentenced Xolile Mngeni to life for killing tourist Anni Dewani, who was on her honeymoon in South Africa.
Mngeni was also sentenced to 15 years for robbery with aggravating circumstances and to five years for possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition, to run concurrently with his life term.
Judge Robert Henney convicted him of the crimes last week.
Mngeni seemed shocked when the sentence was handed down, and stood wide-eyed, with his mouth agape.
He propped up his body by placing an arm on the dock.
Dewani's father Vinod Hindocha stared at Mngeni but they did not make eye contact.
When considering Mngeni's health – he had a brain tumour – Henney said that in a constitutional democracy, the court should not lose sight of the "element of mercy".
"The element of mercy is based on one of our constitutional values, and that is human dignity."
But he said Mngeni had come across as a merciless and evil person who consistently showed no remorse.
The court had to impose serious punishment on those who committed such offences and had to uphold the interests of society.
Mngeni's co-accused Mziwamadoda Qwabe was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment for kidnapping and murder in August.
Dewani (28) was killed in Gugulethu on November 13 2010 in an apparent hijacking while on honeymoon with her husband Shrien.
Shrien has been accused of arranging the contract killing of wife, which he has repeatedly denied.
On Monday, a UK magistrate set Shrien's extradition hearing for July 2013 after hearing that he had become a "husk" of a man who suffered from flashbacks of the night his wife was killed French news agency Agence France-Presse reported.
The ANC Women's League announced on Tuesday that it would march to Britain's embassy in Pretoria to demand that Shrien be extradited to South Africa.
ANC Women's League spokesperson Troy Martens said the march would be held next Monday.
"It must be made clear to the international community that South Africa is not a slaughterhouse, and justice must be allowed to take its course," she said on Tuesday. – Sapa.