Dewani case: Lawyers backtrack on footage

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CAPE TOWN - Lawyers for Anni Dewani murder accused Xolile Mngeni on Monday decided against showing crucial video footage in the Western Cape High Court.

But they continued their cross examination of the state's first witness, a hotel receptionist.

Mngeni has pleaded not guilty to all five charges against him, including kidnapping and murder.

Both Mziwamadoda Qwabe and Zola Tongo are serving jail time after they pleaded guilty to their roles in the 2010 killing of the UK honeymooner.

Judge Robert Henney looked frustrated when Mngeni’s lawyers said they would not be showing the court the crucial CCTV footage.

The lawyers initially wanted to show the footage on Thursday, but it never happened as the cable for the CCTV television was missing.

The hotel receptionist testified how he put taxi driver Tongo in contact with an alleged hitman called Abongile.

It has since emerged that Abongile is Qwabe.

Mngeni’s lawyers are questioning the witness’ first and second statement to police and whether he decided to testified to his own accord.

Meanwhile, Shrien Dewani has been numerously implicated in the murder.

Qwabe entered into a plea bargain with the state and accused Dewani of masterminding his bride’s murder.

Qwabe said they were paid R15,000 for the incident.

However, Dewani has denied any involvement in the case.

(Edited by Lindiwe Mlandu)