Man denies Dewani murder cash claim

Daily Echo: British businessman Shrien Dewani is currently in the care of medics after being diagnosed with depression British businessman Shrien Dewani is currently in the care of medics after being diagnosed with depression

A man accused of helping British newlywed Shrien Dewani to orchestrate the murder of his bride on their honeymoon in Cape Town claimed he did not receive any payment for his role in her death, a court has heard.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was allegedly offered 5,000 rand (about £380) to act as a "middleman" in the plot to kill Anni Dewani in an apparent carjacking.

Xolile Mngeni is standing trial accused of killing the 28-year-old. He denies murder, kidnapping, robbery and illegal possession of a firearm.

Mngeni's lawyer Matthews Dayimani said taxi driver Zola Tongo, who has already been convicted for his role in Mrs Dewani's murder, would testify that the unnamed man was offered cash for his services to hire a hitman.

But the man, who appeared as a witness at Western Cape High Court, said Tongo was "lying" and claimed he did not receive any payment for his part in the alleged plot.

He said: "I did not get any money from all of this. There was no such promise. It's blood money."

Mrs Dewani was shot dead after the car she was travelling in was hijacked in the impoverished Gugulethu township in November 2010. Her husband Shrien, who the authorities want to extradite to South Africa, was ejected from the vehicle and Mrs Dewani's body was found later.

So far, two men have admitted their roles in Mrs Dewani's murder and claimed her husband orchestrated the killing.

Mziwamadoda Qwabe was jailed for 25 years and Tongo was jailed for 18 years after saying Dewani offered him 15,000 rand (about £1,200) to arrange the killing and make it look like a carjacking.

Dewani, a care home owner, is due at Westminster Magistrates' Court on September 18 when an update will be provided on his medical condition. He is currently in the care of medics after being diagnosed with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

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