Fingerprint expert implicates Dewani hitman

Xolile Mngeni, one of the men accused of murdering honeymooner Anni Dewani, appears in the Western Cape High Court on Monday, 13 August 2012. Picture: Sapa

CAPE TOWN – Palm prints lifted off a van used in the 2010 hijacking and murder of Anni Dewani matched those of the alleged gunman, a policeman said on Tuesday.

The officer made the revelation during Xolile Mngeni’s murder case in the Western Cape High Court.

Mngeni has pleaded not guilty to all five charges against him.

His alleged accomplices, Mziwamadoda Qwabe and Zola Tongo, have pleaded guilty to the crime and are serving lengthy jail sentences. 

Warrant Officer Johan Hanekom described how he lifted palm prints off the van, the day after the murder. 

The fingerprint expert said these prints matched those of Mngeni. 

The court was shown photographs of both the evidence and the vehicle used in the crime.

Earlier, the second state witness told the court that he drove Mngeni and Qwabe to Gugulethu on the night of the murder.

According to the witness, Qwabe approached him in a Khayelitsha tavern and asked him for a lift.

Meanwhile, alleged mastermind Shrien Dewani is currently suffering from post-traumatic stress.

The National Prosecuting Authority wants him extradited to South Africa to stand trial.

However, a London court ruled he could only be extradited once he has fully recovered.

Dewani has denied any involvement in his wife’s murder.

(Edited by Lindiwe Mlandu)