NPA pleased with Dewani verdict

The National Prosecuting Authority is happy with the Dewani verdict after a three-month trial.

 Xolile Mngeni consults with his lawyer on 19 November 2012 in the Western Cape High Court right after hearing that he had been found guilty of the murder of Anni Dewani. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) says it is happy with the judgment handed down to Anni Dewani's killer Xolile Mngeni.

The 25-year-old was found guilty on Monday of killing the British bride in a staged hijacking in Khayelitsha two years ago.

Mngeni, who is suffering from cancer, was found guilty of four charges, but was acquitted of kidnapping.

Western Cape High Court Judge Robert Henney told the court Mngeni barely avoided the avalanche of evidence against him.

"The only answer he could give against the mountain of evidence against him was a rather late revelation of an alibi, which proved to be unconvincing and the completely unfounded claim that the police, together with the witnesses who testified, conspired to fabricate the evidence against him."

Henney said the State proved its case beyond reasonable doubt.

"I find that the accused made himself available at the price of R15,000, to be shared between himself and Qwabe, to execute the deceased. In the process, a plan was devised in which it would appear the vehicle in which the deceased and husband were passengers, was hijacked."

The NPA's Eric Ntabazalila welcomed the ruling.

"We are happy with the ruling, particularly with the judge's belief that the NPA in fact proved, without reasonable doubt, Xolile Mngeni was part of the planning of the murder and that he is the one who pulled the trigger."

Meanwhile, Mngeni's lawyer Matthews Dayimani said the legal team was preparing for Wednesday's sentencing proceedings.

"We did what we thought is best for him and we will definitely respect the judgment. We're now focusing on investigating the sentence."

Two men, Mziwamadoda Qwabe and Zola Tongo, are currently serving lengthy sentences for their part in the murder.

The two implicated Anni's husband, Shrien, as the alleged mastermind behind the crime.

He denies this but refuses to return to Cape Town to face the charges as he believes he will not have a fair trial.

Shrien is currently receiving treatment in a mental facility in Britain.