Key witness in Dewani trial a no-show

A witness for Anni Dewani's alleged killer failed to appear and will now be issued with a subpoena.

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 - A crucial witness for Anni Dewani's alleged killer failed to appear in the Western Cape High Court on Thursday.

So far, only Xolile Mngeni and his cousin testified in his defence.

Mngeni is denying any involvement in the 2010 murder of the young British bride.

Anni was killed during an apparent staged hijacking in Khayelitsha while she was on honeymoon.

The murder was allegedly masterminded by her husband, Shrien, who returned to Britain where he is fighting his extradition to South Africa to face the murder charges.

The judge in the case gave Mngeni's legal team more than two hours to ensure their next would take the stand.

It is understood the Khayelitsha woman, known as "Smollie", was to testify about Mngeni's whereabouts on the night of the murder.

Mngeni claims he was at her home at the time of the incident.

But after lunch, Mngeni's lawyer Matthews Dayimani entered the court, giving the thumbs down.

He accepted the court's help, and will issue "Smollie" with a subpoena.

"[The subpoena] can be served by a policeman so that the witness can be warned to come to court."

The marathon trial resumes on Monday.