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Dewani murder trial adjourned

The Anni Dewani murder trial has been adjourned for the day.

A police officer assists Xolile Mngeni, one of the men accused of murdering Anni Dewani, in the Western Cape High Court. Picture: Sapa

CAPE TOWN - The Anni Dewani murder trial has been adjourned until Wednesday because murder accused Xolile Mngeni is feeling drained.

Mngeni, who is suffering with a malignant brain tumor, has been testifying in the Western Cape High Court.

He is accused of firing the shot that killed the young British newlywed during an apparent staged hijacking in Cape Town two years ago.

Mngeni contradicted himself in parts of his often confusing testimony.

While he had no problems answering questions from his lawyer, Mngeni had some difficulty replying to prosecutors.

While the 25-year-old changed small details of his story, he remains adamant he was not involved in the 2010 murder.

Mngeni testified he spent most of the weekend - when the honeymooner was killed - with friends and 3 different girlfriends.

He believes some could be his alibis.

Mngeni's testimony was supposed to continue after lunch, but his lawyer asked the judge to postpone the trial saying his client was feeling exhausted.

During his testimony, the frail 25-yer-old took several minutes before answering the prosecutions simple questions.

When he was asked if he could track down his girlfriend to confirm his alibi, he said he had lost contact with her as she lived in Johannesburg.

However, the National Prosecuting Authority's (NPA) Eric Ntabazalila said Mngeni contradicted himself in parts of his testimony.

"There were contradictions as to how Mngeni met Mziwamadoda Qwabe; Mngeni's lawyer Matthews Dayimani told the court the accused was coming out of a salon, but Mngeni disputed all of that by saying that he was coming from a shop when he had met Qwabe."

The alleged gunman disputed most aspects of the testimony given by co-accused Mziwamadoda Qwabe and told the court that Qwabe was not his friend.

He said on the days leading up to and after the murder, Qwabe only asked him to sell him one of his cellphones.

Qwabe, who is serving a 25-year jail term for his part in the crime, has implicated Mngeni and Anni's husband Shrien Dewani.

Ntabazalila said Mngeni has also inadvertently admitted to selling drugs.

"He would sell drugs to some of his friends. It has been a very confusing testimony, jumping from one year to another."

The accused also revealed he sustained a gunshot wound to his left arm in 2008, before being stabbed in his hand a year later.

Previously Dayimani argued it was impossible for Mngeni to have fired a gun without the full use of his hand, as he was hospitalised for a lengthy period before the 2010 murder.

The 25-year-old will continue being grilled by prosecutors regarding his testimony.

These details will form part of a crucial argument by Mngeni's lawyer later.

Meanwhile, alleged mastermind Shrien Dewani is fighting against his extradition to South Africa in a London Court.

South African authorities want him to stand trial in this country.

Dewani is currently being treated at a mental facility in the United Kingdom.