Dewani honeymoon murder case decision delayed

British businessman Shrien Dewani will have to wait until December 8 to see whether a South African judge throws out charges that he organised the murder of his bride.

After hearing two days of argument on a defence bid to have the case dismissed, Western Cape High Court judge Jeannette Traverso said she would give her decision on the honeymoon killing next month.

The men who planned to murder honeymooner Anni Dewani were not “the A-team of contract killers”, the court was told.

Arguing that the murder case against Shrien Dewani should not be thrown out, prosecutor Adrian Mopp told the Western Cape High Court in South Africa that the murder plot was amateurish and almost comical.

Lawyers for the millionaire businessman asked the South African judge to throw the case against him out and allow him to return to England.

Francois van Zyl, defending Dewani, has claimed there are inconsistencies in evidence given against his client.

But countering the defence application, Mr Mopp said: “We know these individuals were not the A-team of contract killers. They could barely organise transport from Khayelitsha to Gugulethu.

“We are dealing with an amateurish attempt. If it were not for the killing of the deceased, it would actually be comical, the manner in which this matter was set about.”

Deputy judge president Jeanette Traverso said two of the hitmen, Zola Tongo and Monde Mbolombo, had fairly sophisticated jobs before they lost them.

Mr Mopp replied that may be so but they were not involved in serious crime and had “vulnerabilities” that made them susceptible to being drawn into this world.

He added that fellow hitmen Mziwamadoda Qwabe and Xolile Mngeni were in a different category where they had access to illegal firearms and were unemployed. Yesterday, Judge Traverso spoke about the seemingly disorganised plan that the men allegedly organised together.

The defence and the State filed heads of argument for the discharge application last week.

Section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Act provides that if at the close of the prosecution’s case, the court believes there is no evidence that the accused committed the offence, it may return a verdict of not guilty.

The State closed its case a week ago.


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