Xolile Mngeni, the man who was charged with the murder and kidnapping of honeymoon murder victim, Anni Dewani has died in hospital. He was serving a life term for being the man who had pulled the trigger to kill the newly wedded bride. He had been charged with two other men, Mziwamadoda Qwabe and Zola Tongo. The two accomplices were handed down sentences of 25 years and 18 years respectively for their part in the kidnapping-turned murder back in 2010.
The three were apparently paid about R15 000 to arrange the murder of Anni Dewani, who had just married Shrien Dewani, a British businessman. In his evidence during his trial, Zola Tongo, who eventually entered into a plea bargain with the State, testified that he was approached by Shrien to arrange the murder of his newly wedded wife and to make it look like a botched hijacking. Shrien Dewani disputes that and insists that he was also a victim of the kidnapping and was just lucky to escape without harm.
Mngeni died while in custody at the hospital section of Cape Town prison, twelve days after the trial of Shrien Dewani started for his part in the same murder. He was suffering from a brain tumor which was removed back in 2012 and was the result of the delay of his trial. He is reported to have applied for parole on medical grounds, which was denied as officials felt that he could get all the medical care he needed at the hospital section of the prison. In the ongoing trial of the alleged mentor in the murder, prosecutors are reported to have spoken to Mngeni but had ruled out calling him in as a witness because of his poor health.
In passing judgement on Mngeni, Judge Robert Henney described him as an evil and merciless person who had no regard to Anni’s right to freedom and dignity, and had totally disregarded and shown no respect to her right to life by brutally “killing her with utter disdain”. Mngeni is reported to be the one that pulled the trigger in the killing of the then 28 year old honeymooner, Anni whose maiden name had been Hindocha.