South Africa 7.11.2014 01:55 pm

Mbolombo questioned about inconsistences

FILE PICTURE: British businessman Shrien Dewani appears in the Western Cape High Court on Monday, 6 October 2014. He pleaded not guilty to killing his wife Anni in Cape Town in 2010. Apart from murder Dewani is also charged with kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances, and conspiracy to commit these crimes. He is also charged with defeating the ends of justice. Picture: Nardus Engelbrecht/SAPA/Pool

FILE PICTURE: British businessman Shrien Dewani appears in the Western Cape High Court on Monday, 6 October 2014. He pleaded not guilty to killing his wife Anni in Cape Town in 2010. Apart from murder Dewani is also charged with kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances, and conspiracy to commit these crimes. He is also charged with defeating the ends of justice. Picture: Nardus Engelbrecht/SAPA/Pool

Hotel receptionist Monde Mbolombo was on Friday questioned about apparent inconsistencies between his statements and testimony in the Western Cape High Court.

Francois van Zyl, for Shrien Dewani, was cross-examining 35-year-old Mbolombo during his client’s trial.

Mbolombo promised on Thursday to give the whole truth during this testimony after admitting he had lied in two statements and in previous testimony to minimise his role in Anni Dewani’s murder.

During his evidence-in-chief on Thursday he said he spoke to his accomplice, shuttle taxi driver Zola Tongo, about the possibility of a R5000 commission.

Van Zyl asked on Friday why this R5000 commission was not mentioned in his third statement which he gave in September this year, and which was said to be the “correct” one.

Mbolombo, the State’s 14th witness, said it must have slipped his mind.

In the third statement he said he told Tongo he should give the hitmen R9000 of the R15,000 hit money and that he should keep R1000, which he would collect from Tongo.

Contradicting both claims for money, he said during convicted gunman Xolile Mngeni’s trial in 2012 that he was not expecting any commission because it was “blood money”.

Mbolombo told the court there were differences because he had attempted to protect himself at the time.

He stuck to his version that he thought he should have some monetary compensation for his contribution.

“Isn’t the true explanation just that you are a liar?” the lawyer asked.

Mbolombo replied: “I excluded whatever involved me.”

Dewani is on trial for allegedly plotting with Tongo and others to kill his wife Anni while they were on honeymoon in Cape Town in November 2010.

He has pleaded not guilty to charges including kidnapping, murder, and defeating the ends of justice.

He claims the couple was hijacked as Tongo drove them through Gugulethu in his minibus on Saturday, November 13.

He was released unharmed and Anni was driven away. She was found shot dead in the abandoned minibus in Khayelitsha the next morning.

The State alleges Dewani conspired with others to stage the hijacking in return for R15,000.

He maintains that Tongo helped him organise a surprise helicopter trip for Anni for R15,000.

Tongo is serving an 18-year jail term and Mziwamadoda Qwabe, a 25-year jail term.

Mngeni was serving life in jail for firing the shot that killed Anni, but died in prison from a brain tumour on October 18.

Other inconsistencies the defence raised included Mbolombo’s use of the words “wife” and “lady” to refer to the target.

Van Zyl said the use of the word “wife” suggested that both he and Tongo had known their target was Dewani’s wife, whereas “lady” suggested the opposite.

Mbolombo said he remembered Tongo telling him it was a “wife”.

Sapa

 

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