Xolile Mngeni, 25, has been fingered by co-accused Mziwamadoda Qwabe — who has been jailed for 25 years after pleading guilty for the murder, as being the one who fired the shot that killed Dewani.
But Mngeni claimed alibis for November 12th to 14th, 2010, when the murder of Dewani was allegedly plotted, carried out and her body found in an abandoned taxi belonging to the newly-weds’ driver in a poor township.
He said he had spent the Friday night at home with a casual female acquaintance and some time with people from his street and denied having been with a co-accused who has already been jailed for 25 years after pleading guilty.
“She left the following day,” he told the High Court in Cape Town about the woman he spent the night with, speaking through a court interpreter.
He said he had then spent the following night when Dewani was murdered with another woman at a shack at one of her friend’s houses, but said the girlfriend was no longer living in Cape Town and that he had lost contact with her.
He refuted testimony by his co-accused Mziwamadoda Qwabe who claimed that he had spoken about the attack over the phone shortly before it took place allegedly as a staged hijacking.
The calls had allegedly come from the newly-weds’ taxi driver, who is serving his own 18 year jail-term over the murder, but Mngeni said he had been with the girlfriend and “at that time I was sleeping”.
On the way home on Sunday morning when Dewani’s body was found in the taxi driver’s car, he said he met a friend with whom he went shopping in Cape Town with and said he met another girlfriend.
None of the potential alibis over the weekend, including any of the women, have been called to testify and Mngeni told the court that he had only recently told his lawyer about them.
The two jailed men have claimed the murder was a paid hit, allegedly ordered by Dewani’s husband Shrien who claims he is innocent and is fighting extradition to South Africa to stand trial for murder.