Dewani hitman sentenced to life in prison

A man convicted of murdering Swedish honeymooner Anni Dewani in South Africa two years ago was sentenced to life in prison on Wednesday.

Dewani hitman sentenced to life in prison

Sentencing Xolile Mngeni, 25, Judge Robert Henney told him he was a “merciless and evil person” who had “committed an act of premeditated murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances.”

Two other local men have been jailed over the killing and have claimed that Anni’s husband Shrien Dewani ordered the hit.

Mngeni was found guilty of firing the shot that killed Dewani who had been married for just two weeks when she was killed in November 2010, in what prosecutors say was a faked hijacking.

Mngeni, a suspected small-time drug dealer, plotted with two co-accused to carry out the murder for 15,000 rand (now $1,700), the court in Cape town heard.

“In the case of murder this court is obliged to impose a sentence of life imprisonment,” Henney said.

“In the case of robbery with aggravating circumstances, this court is obliged to impose a sentence of 15 years imprisonment.”

Dewani’s father, Vinod Hindocha, was present in court and stared at Henney with a blank expression as the judgment was read out.

Henney said he had taken into account the fact that Mngeni, who lived in a slum and had only a primary school education, came from a poor background and that he had been diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer.

Mngeni had undergone chemotherapy, but there was a high chance that the tumour would recur in the future.

But the judge said it would be unfair and unjust to show leniency to “a merciless and evil person, who has consistently shown no remorse”.

Anni Dewani’s family had flown from London to Cape Town on Tuesday to hear Mngeni’s sentencing.

“I wanted to look into Mngeni’s eyes, to see, when he was sentenced,” Vinod Hindocha said on the steps of the court, “that is why I came all this way.”

Hindocha said the “full picture” would only emerge once Shrien Dewani came to Cape Town” to face his hearing.

“Me and my wife have not slept a night since Anni was murdered. Shrien holds the key to that.”

“We need all the questions answered so that we can move on with our lives.”

Hindocha said he and his family would fight on until they had justice.

On Monday a British court ruled Shrien was not yet fit to face extradition to South Africa.

Shrien Dewani was now a “husk” of a man who suffers flashbacks of the night his bride was killed, a British judge heard as he set the murder suspect’s extradition hearing for July.

AFP/The Local

Follow The Local on Twitter

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Coming soon: an H&M store in South Africa

Swedish cheap'n'chic fashion giant H&M will open its first store in South Africa in 2015, its first foray into sub-Saharan Africa, the company announced on Thursday.

Coming soon: an H&M store in South Africa

H&M said it had signed a contract for a store in Johannesburg, but it was also looking into opening in Cape Town as well and therefore it could not say which store would open first.

“We’re still in the early stages … but there will be several stores,” H&M spokeswoman Camilla Emilsson-Falk told AFP.

IN PICTURES: Hot designs at Mercedes Benz Stockholm Fashion Week

The company said it saw great potential in the South African market but refused to disclose any details.

“We see great potential for further expansion in this region. We look forward to bringing fashion and quality at the best price to the customers in South Africa,” H&M’s chief executive Karl-Johan Persson said in a statement.

The first store that opens will be a full concept flagship store, the company said.

H&M’s only other stores on the African continent are in Egypt and Morocco.

The company said it had opened some 100 new stores in the second quarter, bringing its total number of outlets worldwide to 2,908.

IN PICTURES: More scenes from Mercedes Benz Stockholm Fashion Week

Using an average annual exchange rate, H&M remained the biggest clothing company in 2012 with its sales edging out Spanish competitor Inditex, which owns Zara.

But H&M risks losing its number one spot this year to Inditex, which has twice as many stores, is growing faster and is more profitable.

IN PICTURES: Take a look back through some of H&M’s top collaborations

AFP/The Local/og

Follow The Local on Twitter