Inconsistencies emerge in Dewani middleman's testimony

Monde Mbolombo was questioned about apparent discrepancies between his statements and testimony.

FILE: Shrien Dewani in the dock at the Western Cape High Court at the start of the trial on 7 Octoober 2014. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The middleman in the alleged plot to kill Swedish bride Anni Hindocha Dewani says he took on the role of ensuring the hit went off as planned.

But in stark contrast, he has told the Western Cape High Court he wasn't in charge and wasn't acting on anyone else's behalf when he assumed this role.

He is the state's latest witness in its case against Anni's husband, British businessman Shrien Dewani, who is accused of ordering the hit on his wife during the couple's honeymoon in Cape Town in November 2010.

Former hotel receptionist Monde Mbolombo said he wanted to make sure the hit went off as planned.

He said he took on the role because he was in financial trouble at the time and was thinking about getting paid for his involvement in the alleged murder plot.

But when asked by Shrien Dewani's defence counsel Francois van Zyl if he was in control of the situation, he denied being in charge.

He said he simply wanted to make sure things went according to plan.

Even though Van Zyl pointed out that is usually the role of someone in charge, Mbolombo was steadfast that he wasn't the man in control.

Watch: Monde Mbolombo was visibly distressed during cross-examination.


At the same time, inconsistencies in Mbolombo's testimony were a key focus point.

Mbolombo was questioned about apparent discrepancies between his statements and testimony and at times accused of lying.

In a statement Mbolombo made in September, he said he'd suggested Zola Tongo give hitmen Mziwamadoda Qwabe and Xolile Mgeni, R9,000 of the R15,000 hit money and that he should keep R1,000 for himself.

This is contradictory to what he said in 2012 during Mngeni's trial that he was not expecting anything because it was blood money.

He told the court he did this because he wanted to protect himself and feared prosecution.