Cape Town - Xolile Mngeni has been found guilty of Anni Dewani's murder in the Western Cape High Court.
Judge Robert Henney found Mngeni, 25, guilty of robbery with aggravating circumstances, premeditated murder and illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.
Xolile Mngen. Credit: CAPE ARGUS
Dewani was shot and killed in an apparent orchestrated hijacking in November 13, 2010 while on honeymoon in Cape Town. Her body found the next day.
“The State has proven its case beyond reasonable doubt,” Henney said as hedelivered his judgment in the three-month long trial on Monday.
“The case against the accused is overwhelming and the accused could barely avoid the avalanche of evidence from crashing down on him.”
Mngeniwas acquitted on a kidnapping charge as this was executed as part of a single chain of events leading up to the murder.
Mngeni stood expressionless as the judgment was delivered. His family watched wide-eyed from the gallery above.
Heis the only accused to have stood trial so far, after two of his alleged accomplices, Mziwamadoda Qwabe and Zola Tongo reached plea agreements with the State.
Earlier Henney said Qwabe's evidence against Mngeni, 25, was clear, precise, detailed and chronological.
Qwabe testified that Mngeni helped him hijack the Dewanis and pulled the trigger on the honeymoon bride.
His testimony was the only direct evidence presented in court.
Henney said Qwabe came across as intelligent and did not contradict himself on the stand.
Hesaid the evidence of alleged accomplices, like Qwabe, had to be treated with caution and backed up with evidence by other witnesses.
The State called 26 witnesses in total to strengthen its case.
“Much of Qwabe's evidence was corroborated by other witnesses and other evidence,” Henney concluded.
The alleged murder mastermind, Anni's husband, Shrien Dewani, is still fighting extradition to South Africa. - Sapa, IOL