Dewani trial: Ballistics expert testifies

Pieter Engelbrecht is reading out some of his findings to the court in the honeymoon murder trial.

Shrien Dewani in the dock at Cape Town High Court. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Ballistics expert Pieter Engelbrecht, testifying in the honeymoon murder trial, is reading out some of his findings to the court.

British businessman Shrien Dewani is on trial in the Western Cape High Court for allegedly hiring three men to kill his wife Anni Hindocha Dewani during their honeymoon in Cape Town in November 2010.

Dewani faces five charges, including one of murder.

Engelbrecht has confirmed Anni was sitting in the middle of the vehicle at the time of the hijacking and says she either leaned or moved to her right prior to the fatal shot being fired.

Engelbrecht's involvement in this case started in November 2012, when he was asked to re-test the exhibits for convicted hit man Xolile Mngeni's trial.

He told the court he conducted, among others, a trigger pulling exercise.

He also took measurements of the firearm and vehicle.

The ballistics expert was asked to re-examine the trajectory of the bullet that struck Anni and the position of the man who shot her.

He went to Goodwood Prison on Friday to measure Mngeni's arms.

A few days later, with the assistance of two other people, three scenarios were acted out and recorded on camera.

Earlier in the trial, Dewani's lawyer said his experts measured Mngeni's arms and looked at the evidence at hand, before suggesting he wasn't the one who shot Anni.

It would appear the police's re-examination is in response to the defence's allegation.

Engelbrecht, however, considered all of the scenarios and came to the conclusion that the shooter was seated in the front passenger seat, in line with the state's case that Mngeni shot Anni.

He says enough pressure had to be applied to fire the gun.

The court has also heard Mngeni's arms were measured just a day before he died in prison on Saturday.

He was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2011.


On Tuesday, Dewani's lawyer moved to explain what's been described as his client's 'strange' behaviour after his wife was gunned down, by saying his actions were the result of him being a perfectionist.

Francois van Zyl was trying to cast doubt on testimony that Dewani was more focused on planning Anni's funeral instead of grieving.

Dewani's appearance and demeanour were also scrutinised when Sergeant Cornelius Mellet took the stand.

He said when he saw Dewani after the hijacking, Dewani didn't look like someone who had been in an attack with a struggle, because he was neatly dressed and clean.

For more on Shrien Dewani, click here.

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