Xolile Mngeni, one of Anni Dewani’s killers, has died, the department of justice and correctional services said on Saturday.
“It is unfortunate that inmate Xolile Mngeni passed on while the monitoring of his medical condition was underway. We wish to convey our condolences to his family and relatives,” Minister Michael Masutha said in a statement.
Mngeni, who was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Anni Dewani, passed away at approximately 2.30pm on Saturday whilst in custody at the Goodwood Correctional Centre hospital in Cape Town. Mngeni, who was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2011, was reportedly admitted to Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, in June.
The medical parole advisory board recommended Mngeni be placed on medical parole.
In July, Masutha denied Mngeni medical parole. Masutha said this was on the grounds that there were no appropriate arrangements for Mngeni’s supervision, care and treatment in the community into which he would be released.
“The minister considered the application of the offender and directed that the social worker urgently provides a comprehensive report that addresses the aftercare [medical treatment] needs of the offender,” spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said at the time.
“We are of the view that the correctional centre where he is incarcerated has the necessary resources to provide him with adequate medical assistance.” The high court in Cape Town jailed Mngeni, and co-accused Zola Tongo and Mziwamadoda Qwabe, for life in 2012 for killing Dewani.
Mngeni was also sentenced to 15 years in jail for robbery with aggravating circumstances and to five years for possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition; to run concurrently with his life term.
Dewani (28) was shot dead in Gugulethu on November 13 2010, in an apparent staged hijacking. Her body was found the next day. Her husband Shrien Dewani was extradited from Britain to South Africa in April to stand trial for murdering his wife during their Cape Town honeymoon.
Shrien is charged with conspiracy to commit kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances, murder, kidnapping, and defeating the ends of justice. The trial has been set down until December 12.