‘Evil person’ is third man jailed over murder of honeymooner

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A third man has been jailed for life for his part in the killing of honeymooner Anni Dewani in South Africa.

A judge branded Xolile Mngeni, who shot Mrs Dewani, “a merciless and evil person” who deserved the maximum punishment for the crime which prosecutors say was organised by her British husband, Shrien.

Judge Robert Henney did not hold back his contempt while sentencing Mngeni for the killing of 28-year-old Mrs Dewani.

“He had no regard to her right to freedom, dignity, and totally disregarded and showed no respect to her right to life by brutally killing her with utter disdain,” he said.

Mngeni, who had surgery to remove a brain tumour while facing trial in Cape Town, at times sat with his face resting on the bannister of the dock on top of his crossed arms. Mrs Dewani’s family members, wearing black clothes and with pictures of her pinned above their left breasts, stared at him.

In August Mngeni’s accomplice Mziwamadoda Qwabe pleaded guilty to charges over the killing, receiving a 25-year prison sentence.

Taxi driver Zola Tongo, whom the police say Shrien Dewani asked to plot the killing, earlier received an 18-year prison sentence. Both Tongo and Qwabe have said Shrien Dewani wanted it to look like he was not involved and they planned to have the attack look like a carjacking in Cape Town’s impoverished Gugulethu township.

The men were paid about £1,500 for the killing, the court heard. Shrien Dewani denies the 
claims of his involvement.

Qwabe said after he and Mngeni staged a fake carjacking he drove the car as Mngeni kept a 7.62 mm pistol pointed at Mrs Dewani in the back seat and then pulled the trigger, the fatal shot going through her neck.

Shrien Dewani was allowed to leave South Africa for the United Kingdom, where he was later arrested. He is being treated in a secure mental hospital.