Dewani Trial: Police “overlooked” possibly crucial evidence

Captain Paul Hendrikse is the state's 15th witness in its case against Shrien Dewani.

Shrien Dewani leaves the Western Cape High Court on 27 October 2014. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - In a startling admission, the investigating officer in Swedish bride Anni Hindocha Dewani's murder case has told the Western Cape High Court that police "overlooked" a possibly crucial piece of evidence.

Captain Paul Hendrikse is the state's 15th witness in its case against Anni's husband, Shrien Dewani, who is accused of ordering a hit on her life during the couple's honeymoon in November 2010.

Hendrikse says investigators had requested a yellow glove, which was worn by hitman Mziwamadoda Qwabe, be tested for gunshot residue but they neglected to obtain the results until this year when Dewani's defence team requested it.

This means investigators didn't have the results at the time Xolile Mngeni went on trial in 2012 for shooting Anni.

Hendrikse told the court they had initially "overlooked" that piece of evidence.

Earlier in the trial, it emerged the glove had tested positive for primer residue, casting doubt over who was really the shooter.


On Monday, former hotel receptionist, Monde Mbolombo, admitted to playing a lead role in the plot to kill Anni, despite his co-conspirators insisting he was nothing more than a middleman.

Judge Jeanette Traverso asked him why his co-conspirators referred to him as just the link between former taxi driver Zola Tongo and Qwabe.

To which Mbolombo replied he didn't know.

During cross-examination, Dewani's lawyer Francois van Zyl, again suggested Anni had been killed during a hostage situation gone awry.

He summarised days of questioning by saying he did not know where Mbolombo's lies stopped and where the truth began.


Van Zyl on Monday asked Mbolombo if a fifth unnamed person was involved in the murder.

He asked Mbolombo what he meant when he told one of his co-conspirators in a telephone conversation that five people were involved in the plot.

Mbolombo said he couldn't remember why he said that.

When Van Zyl asked whether Dewani was the fifth person, as Tongo previously testified, Mbolombo agreed he could be but wasn't sure.