Dewani: Mngeni spoke about murder

The childhood friend (26), whose name is being held for fear of reprisal, took to the stand to testify about what he was told by accused Xolile Mngeni on Sunday, November 14, 2010.

"He told me he robbed the phone at Ilitha Park. He robbed the person and shot the person and I thought he was joking when he said this," the friend said.

He clarified to the court that this person was a woman.

Dewani was killed in Gugulethu on November 13 2010, in an apparent hijacking, while on honeymoon with her husband Shrien.

The hijacked vehicle was left in Ilitha Park in Khayelitsha.

Mngeni has pleaded not guilty to charges of kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances, murder, and illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.

The witness said he met Mngeni around 5pm that Sunday after shopping together earlier in the day.

As they were walking along the street, Mngeni started speaking about the brown Nokia cellphone in his possession.

'Picked it up'
His friend had first seen this phone, pointed out as the same one before court, on Mngeni in the early hours of that Sunday morning. The accused had told him he "picked it up at Illitha Park".

But Mngeni told him while walking that it had been stolen.

The witness explained why he thought Mngeni was joking.

"He's a person who likes making jokes. We like misleading each other and joking."

On Tuesday, Mngeni was rushed from the court to a doctor after he apparently vomited blood during the lunch break.

He managed to walk into court with his walking frame when the trial started in the morning.

His lawyer Qalisile Dayimani handed over a medical certificate to Judge Robert Henney in his chambers, which revealed Mngeni was suffering from "numerous problems", of which two causes were stress and his malignant brain tumour.

The doctor concluded he was unfit but able to be in court.

The lawyer said his client was still in poor condition. He argued his client was not being fed often enough, which presented a problem because cancer medication needed to be taken on a full stomach.

Henney ordered that Mngeni be fed more often. He was permitted to eat during the trial, as long as it did not disrupt proceedings.

The trial continues. – Sapa

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Jenna Etheridge
Jenna Etheridge
Journalist, writer and editor

Related stories


Subscribers only

How lottery execs received dubious payments through a private company

The National Lottery Commission is being investigated by the SIU for alleged corruption and maladministration, including suspicious payments made to senior NLC employees between 2016 and 2017

Pandemic hobbles learners’ futures

South African schools have yet to open for the 2021 academic year and experts are sounding the alarm over lost learning time, especially in the crucial grades one and 12

More top stories

Egypt, Seychelles get first jabs

The two countries have rolled out China’s Sinopharm vaccine, but data issues are likely to keep some countries from doing the same

Fashion’s future is bricks and clicks

Lockdown forced reluctant South African clothing retail stores online: although foot traffic in brick-and-mortar stores remains important in a mall culture like ours, the secret to success is innovation

What the Biden presidency may mean for Africa

The new US administration has an interest and much expertise in Africa. But given the scale of the priorities the administration faces, Africa must not expect to feature too prominently

Zuma, Zondo play the waiting game

The former president says he will talk once the courts have ruled, but the head of the state capture inquiry appears resigned to letting the clock run out as the commission's deadline nears

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…