Dewani accused admits murder

Dewani accused admits murder

One of two men accused of being hired by British newlywed Shrien Dewani to kill his bride on their honeymoon in Cape Town has pleaded guilty.

South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority said Mziwamadoda Qwabe has pleaded guilty to kidnapping, robbery, murder and illegal possession of a firearm.

Qwabe had been accused in the shooting of 28-year-old Anni Dewani, whose body was found in an abandoned taxi in Cape Town’s impoverished Gugulethu township in November 2010.

South African Xolile Mngeni still faces charges over the killing.

Mr Dewani remains in the United Kingdom pending an extradition decision.

It was not clear what the plea deal with prosecutors involved but it was agreed as both Qwabe and Mngeni faced a pre-trial hearing.

The trial has been postponed several times due to the poor health of Mngeni who has been diagnosed with a brain tumour.

In March, a High Court in Britain ruled that it would be “unjust and oppressive” to extradite Shrien Dewani to South Africa. The judges said his mental condition had worsened since his arrest in December 2010, and he should not be extradited in his current state. But they said it was likely he would recover “within a reasonable time” and could then be sent to South Africa.

Mr Dewani, who has been treated in a psychiatric hospital claims the couple’s vehicle was attacked by gunmen during a township tour.

He was allowed to leave South Africa before a confession by taxi driver Zola Tongo in 2010. Tongo said he offered him 15,000 rand (about £1,200) to arrange the killing and make it look like a carjacking.

In a plea bargain to avoid a life sentence, Tongo pleaded guilty and was convicted of kidnapping, murder, aggravated robbery and obstructing justice. He was sentenced to 18 years in prison, and is expected to give evidence at trial.

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