Cop denies assaulting Mngeni

The cop who was accused of assaulting Xolile Mngeni, has denied the claims.

Xolile Mngeni (L) and Mziwamadoda Qwabe (R), accused in the murder of honeymooner Anni Dewani, appear in the Western Cape High Court in Cape Town on Friday, 10 February 2012. Picture: Nardus Engelbrecht/SAPA

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape High Court will on Tuesday hear testimony from the policeman accused of assaulting Anni Dewani's alleged killer.

Xolile Mngeni's attorney claims his client was tortured and threatened in the basement of the Hawks' offices in Bellville, before he made his 2010 confession to police in November 2010.

He has accused constable Mbali of assaulting his client, just days after Anni Dewani was murdered.

The British newlywed was shot and killed in a mock robbery/hijacking in Khayelitsha in November 2010 while on her honeymoon with husband Shrien Dewani.

A senior Hawks official, who arrested Mngeni, has repeatedly denied allegations that the alleged gunman was assaulted.

Constable Mbali is set to take the stand on Tuesday morning.

Prosecutors have also lined-up three other witnesses, including the investigating officer, to testify before the week is out.

Judge Robert Henney has ordered that all the witnesses in the trial-within-a-trial must be heard by Thursday.

Meanwhile, the extradition hearing of suspected mastermind Anni's husband Shrien Dewani returns to a London court on Tuesday.

The court is expected to hear more details about the current state of Dewani's mental health and the care he is receiving while in a secure mental hospital.

Judge Howard Riddle adjourned proceedings until Tuesday for the British prosecutors, acting on behalf of the South African government, to discover why one of the key mental health witnesses decided to step aside from any further part in the case.

The professor was one of two medical experts whose evidence helped persuade judges at London's High Court that Dewani was unfit to plead and stand trial in South Africa.

The 32-year-old's extradition has only been postponed until he is deemed to have recovered sufficiently to remove those concerns.

The assessment and level of health improvement will be one of the main points of argument over the coming months.

Dewani, who denies any involvement in his wife's killing, is thought unlikely to attend the hearing.