Dewani killer gets life in S. Africa jail

5th December 2012, Comments 0 comments

A man convicted of killing newlywed Anni Dewani on her honeymoon in South Africa two years ago was sentenced to life in prison by a Cape Town court on Wednesday.

Judge Robert Henney said Xolile Mngeni, 25, had "committed an act of premeditated murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances".

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

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

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

Mngeni, a suspected small-time drug dealer, was found guilty of plotting with two co-accused to carry out the premeditated murder for 15,000 rand (now $1,700).

Dewani's father, Vinod Hindocha, stared at Henney with a blank expression as the judgment was read out.

Henney said he had taken into account 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 Henney said it would be unfair and unjust to show leniency to "a merciless and evil person, who has consistently shown no remorse".

On Monday, a British court ruled that Dewani's husband, Shrien, who has been implicated by those involved in the plot to kill his wife, was not yet fit to face extradition.

Shrien is 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.


© 2012 AFP

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