South Africa 10.11.2014 02:53 pm

Monde Mbolombo asked about accomplices

FILE PICTURE: Prakash Dewani, (R) father of murder accused Shrien Dewani, arrives at the Western Cape High Court for the murder trial on Monday, 6 October 2014. Picture: Nardus Engelbrecht/SAPA

FILE PICTURE: Prakash Dewani, (R) father of murder accused Shrien Dewani, arrives at the Western Cape High Court for the murder trial on Monday, 6 October 2014. Picture: Nardus Engelbrecht/SAPA

Hotel receptionist Monde Mbolombo cannot remember why he spoke on the phone about five people involved in an alleged plot to kill honeymooner Anni Dewani, the Western Cape High Court heard on Monday.

Mbolombo, 35, was asked in cross-examination why he told accomplice shuttle taxi driver Zola Tongo on the phone: “There is five of us remember.”

This was during a call at 6.38pm on November 13, 2010, the same day Anni was shot dead in an alleged fake hijacking in Gugulethu.

“I don’t want to lie. I have been trying to think for a long time [about] what is it that I was talking about but I just cannot remember,” Mbolombo replied.

In the same phone call, Tongo told him there were three people who would do the job. Mbolombo told him he was only aware of two people.

He then phoned accomplice Mziwamadoda Qwabe who confirmed two people would do the job.

Francois van Zyl, for Anni’s husband Shrien Dewani, did not seem to be satisfied with Mbolombo’s answer.

“The question is Mr Mbolombo, was there not indeed a fifth person who has not yet been named or who is being protected?”

Mbolombo replied there was not.

Dewani is on trial for allegedly plotting with Tongo and others to kill 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 were hijacked as Tongo was driving 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 he 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 Qwabe, a 25-year jail term.

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

On Monday, Mbolombo told the court that all he knew by 10.30am on the day of the murder was that the two hitmen needed gloves so they would not leave their fingerprints on the car.

Van Zyl asked whether he knew which car they were talking about but he said he did not know then.

Mbolombo said that Tongo later told him his car needed to be washed after the incident.

The receptionist did not know whether they were going to kill her in the car and who was going to wash the car.

At first, he presumed Tongo would take the car to be washed since he was the owner but later said he was guessing and it could have been Tongo or Qwabe.

“Did you tell Qwabe that the car must be washed?” the lawyer asked.

The witness replied that he never instructed Qwabe to do that.

The only instructions he ever gave to the hitmen was for them not to get lost in Gugulethu that night.

Sapa

 

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