Brain tumour puts off Dewani murder trial: report

13th June 2011, Comments 0 comments

One of the men alleged to have murdered bride Anni Dewani on the orders of her newly-wed husband has had surgery to remove a brain tumour, media reported Monday as the case resumed.

Mziwamadoa Qwabe and Xolile Mngeni are facing charges of murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances and kidnapping that the state says was masterminded by husband Shrien Dewani, currently in Britain.

Media reports said a medical certificate was submitted showing that Mngeni had a brain tumour removed on Thursday and could not appear in court, prompting the judge to adjourn the case to August 2.

Prosecutor Rodney de Kock said the state was hopeful about the outcome of the extradition proceedings for Shrien Dewani taking place in London, which he said were scheduled to resume on July 18.

Swedish-born Anni Dewani, 28, was shot dead last November on the outskirts of Cape Town in a taxi she and her British husband had taken while on their honeymoon.

Four men were arrested for the murder -- Qwabe, Mngeni, Zola Tongo and Monde Mbolombo.

Tongo, the car driver, turned state's evidence in December, pleading guilty and alleging that Anni Dewani's husband was the mastermind of the killing.

Shrien Dewani denies the accusation, saying the car was hijacked and he was released before it was driven off.

Tongo, who said he was paid 1,500 rand (220 dollars) for his role in the murder, was jailed last year for 18 years in a plea bargain, while Mbolombo has become a state witness against Mngeni and Qwabe.

An extradition hearing against Shrien Dewani, 31, began in May in a London court.

Dewani is on bail but has been treated at a mental health unit in Bristol, south west England.

© 2011 AFP

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