Dewani 'hitman' shifts blame

The alleged hitman in the Anni Dewani trial has denied firing the fatal shot.

Alleged gunman in the Anni Dewani murder, Xolile Mngeni, chats with his lawyers on 30 august 2012. Picture: Nathan Adams/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The alleged hitman in the Anni Dewani murder trial on Tuesday accused his accomplice of firing the shot that killed the British tourist.

Xolile Mngeni's legal team cross-examined a police captain who took his client's statement shortly after the arrest.

The lawyer claims Mngeni was told what to say and was assaulted by police.

Mngeni's alleged accomplices, Mziwamadoda Qwabe and Zola Tongo, are serving jail time after pleading guilty to their roles in the crime.

Anni was gunned down during a staged hijacking in Cape Town back in November 2010.

A video shows Mngeni volunteered to make a statement without a lawyer present, despite claims to the contrary.

In his disputed confession, Mngeni recounts his version of events on the day of the murder.

He said he and "Mawewe", believed to be Mziwamadoda Qwabe, hijacked a vehicle carrying a white couple in Gugulethu.

Mngeni said the couple had pleaded for their lives.

According to the accused, they drove to Kuyasa before Mawewe eventually stopped the vehicle and opened fired on the woman in the back seat.

In Qwabe's plea papers, he identified Mngeni as the man who pulled the trigger.

Qwabe also said they were paid R15,000 by the deceased's husband, Shrien Dewani.

The British businessman maintains his innocence and is currently fighting attempts to have him extradited to South Africa to face trial.

He is currently in London, where he is reportedly suffering from post-traumatic stress.