Dewani Trial: Middleman admits lying to police

Monde Mbolombo says he got involved in Anni’s murder because he had money problems at the time.

Anni Dewani was murdered in Cape Town on 13 November, 2010 . Picture: The Anni Dewani (Hindocha) Case Facebook page.

CAPE TOWN - The man regarded as the middleman in the alleged plot to kill Swedish bride Anni Hindocha Dewani has told the Western Cape High Court that he aided the conspirators because he was having financial troubles at the time.

Monde Mbolombo is the state's latest witness in its case against Anni's husband, Shrien Dewani, who is accused of hiring hitmen to kill his wife in Cape Town during the couple's honeymoon in November 2010.

Anni's body was found in an abandoned car in Khayelitsha on 13 November,2010 following an apparent staged hijacking.

Dewani was implicated in his wife's death by three co-accused who agreed to testify for the state in exchange for lesser sentences

Mbolombo took the stand this afternoon to explain his role in the crime.

He put taxi driver Zola Tongo and hitman Mziwamadoda Qwabe in contact with each other.

Mbolombo was granted indemnity from prosecution in exchange for turning state witness in triggerman Xolile Mngeni's murder trial.

But today, Judge Jeanette Traverso said she wasn't convinced that immunity applied to this trial as well.

She warned Mbolombo to testify honestly and satisfactorily.

Mbolombo said he got involved because at the time he had money problems and wasn't thinking about the preciousness of a human life.

The former hotel receptionist told the court he originally lied to police about his involvement in the alleged staged hijacking.

He admitted in court he did not tell the full truth when police first quizzed him about his involvement in the alleged planned hijacking.

When asked by the state prosecutor why he failed to cooperate before, he answered he was scared he would be arrested.