Honeymoon murder case postponed

The second and third accused in the murder of honeymooning tourist Anni Dewani were remanded to custody after their first appearance in the Wynberg Regional Court on Monday.

Mzwamadoda Qwabe (26) of Khayelitsha, and Zola Robert Tonga (31) of Bothasig, appeared before magistrate Jackie Redelinghuys, who remanded them to next Monday, November 29.

Qwabe was arrested on Thursday and Tonga on Saturday.

The first accused Xolile Mngeni (23) was arrested on Tuesday last week.

Western Cape police said Mngeni was in the process of consulting with the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in the Western Cape concerning a possible plea agreement.

“The state also intends to finalise the identity parade during this week,” the police said in a statement.

“The investigation continues and as it unfolds, police will determine if there are any other suspects involved.”

The police said detectives were in contact with the murder victim’s husband, Shrien.

“They did not give any indication when he will be back in Cape Town.”

Mngeni is to appear in court again on Thursday this week, alone, when the question of his legal representation is to be resolved.

Tonga was represented by privately-funded attorney, William da Gras, who confirmed there was a possibility that Tonga’s case would take the form of a plea bargain.

The state was represented by the head of the Western Cape DPP, Rodney de Kock SC.

De Kock told the court the three would be charged under schedule six of the Criminal Procedure Act.

The Act stipulates prescribed life sentences in a conviction, unless there are substantial and compelling reasons for a less severe sentence.

The three faced charges of murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances and kidnapping.

On the robbery charge, they are alleged to have stolen Dewani’s expensive wrist watch, a white-gold and diamond bracelet, her handbag and Blackberry cellphone.

The court record includes a certificate signed by De Kock, directing that any bail application has to be heard in the Regional Court, and not the lower District Court.—Sapa

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