Man denies Anni Dewani murder cash claim

 

A man accused of helping British newlywed Shrien Dewani to orchestrate the murder of his bride on their honeymoon in Cape Town claimed he did not receive any payment for his role in her death, a court has heard.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was allegedly offered 5,000 rand (about £380) to act as a "middleman" in the plot to kill Anni Dewani in an apparent carjacking.

Xolile Mngeni is standing trial accused of killing the 28-year-old. He denies murder, kidnapping, robbery and illegal possession of a firearm.

Mngeni's lawyer Matthews Dayimani said taxi driver Zola Tongo, who has already been convicted for his role in Mrs Dewani's murder, would testify that the unnamed man was offered cash for his services to hire a hitman.

But the man, who appeared as a witness at Western Cape High Court today, said Tongo was "lying" and claimed he did not receive any payment for his part in the alleged plot.

He said: "I did not get any money from all of this. There was no such promise. It's blood money."

Mrs Dewani was shot dead after the car she was travelling in was hijacked in the impoverished Gugulethu township in November 2010.

Her husband Shrien, who the authorities want to extradite to South Africa, was ejected from the vehicle and Mrs Dewani's body was found later.

So far, two men have admitted their roles in Mrs Dewani's murder and claimed her husband orchestrated the killing.

Mziwamadoda Qwabe was jailed for 25 years and Tongo was jailed for 18 years after saying Dewani offered him 15,000 rand (about £1,200) to arrange the killing and make it look like a carjacking.

Dewani, a care home owner, is due at Westminster Magistrates' Court on September 18 when an update will be provided on his medical condition.

He is currently in the care of medics after being diagnosed with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

In Tongo's plea bargain confession, he alleged Dewani had previously arranged for someone to be killed in a fake hijacking in South Africa.

On Wednesday the witness, who was given immunity from prosecution and whose identity was kept secret for fear of reprisals, said he had been the middleman in a plot by a person, believed to be Dewani, to have his wife killed.

He told the court today that he never asked Tongo who the target would be at the time of his request for a hitman.

Judge Robert Henney said: "You didn't ask who is going to be killed. This is a serious thing. Didn't you take it seriously?"

The witness said it did come to mind and at a later stage he asked Tongo while they were in his vehicle who he wanted to be killed.

PA

News
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
people
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
News
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvSeries 5 opening episode attracts lowest ratings since drama began
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Affleck stars as prime suspect Nick Dunne in the film adaptation of Gone Girl
filmBen Affleck and Rosamund Pike excel in David Fincher's film, says Geoffrey Macnab
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Life and Style
fashionThe supermodel on her career, motherhood and Cara Delevingne
News
i100
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Sport
Greg Dyke insists he will not resign as Football Association chairman after receiving a watch worth more than £16,000 but has called for an end to the culture of gifts being given to football officials
football
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Sport
premier league
Sport
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Arts and Entertainment
Rachel, Chandler and Ross try to get Ross's sofa up the stairs in the famous 'Pivot!' scene
tv
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments