Dewani middleman 'lied to protect himself'

Monde Mbolombo said he only misled the court about the extent of his involvement in Anni’s murder.

FILE: Shrien Dewani. Picture: Sapa.

CAPE TOWN - Monde Mbolombo, a state witness in Briton Shrien Dewani's murder trial, says he lied under oath while testifying in a previous matter because he was trying to protect himself from prosecution.

Mbolombo is the prosecution's latest witness in its case against Dewani who is accused of ordering a hit on his wife Anni Hindocha Dewani during the couple's honeymoon in Cape Town four years ago.

Anni's body was found in an abandoned car in Khayelitsha on 14 November, 2010 following an apparent staged hijacking

Mbolombo was granted indemnity from prosecution in exchange for testifying in gunman Xolile Mngeni's murder trial.

But yesterday, he admitted he wasn't completely honest when he testified in Mngeni's case in 2012.

He said he only misled the court about the extent of his involvement in Anni's murder.

But during cross-examination today, Dewani's lawyer Francois van Zyl challenged him on that point.

He asked why Mbolombo previously testified that he didn't know how much money would be paid for the alleged hit.

Van Zyl said that aspect surely had nothing to do with his involvement so there was no reason to lie.

Mbolombo explained that he lied to protect himself.

Van Zyl hit back, accusing Mbolombo of being an outright liar.