Shrien Dewani trial ‘close to collapse’, according to legal expert

Shrien Dewani trial 'close to collapse'
Shrien Dewani on his wedding day with wife Anni, who was shot dead by carjackers in 2010 (Photo: Bristol Evening Post/PA Wire)

A legal expert has claimed that the trial of alleged Honeymoon murderer Shrien Dewani could collapse within a matter of days, after a series of blows to key prosecution evidence.

William Booth of the South African Law Society has said he believes Dewani’s legal team could field an application to have the case discharged, after reports emerged that the case is short on evidence.

Under South African law, defendants can have their trial dismissed without having to take the stand, if a judge believes that prosecutors have presented a case that is not watertight.

Mr Dewani is currently standing trial for the murder of wife Anni, after allegedly hiring two hitmen to kill her during their honeymoon in 2010, and then disguising the murder as a car-jacking.
However, Mr Booth told the MailOnline today that: ‘It’s probably more likely to be withdrawn the longer the case goes on.’

‘The high water mark of the state’s case has still been the evidence of the three main witnesses, and based on their testimony, the state would certainly struggle to secure a conviction’.

He also claimed that the evidence provided by the first two witnesses, Zola Tongo and Mziwamadoda Qwabe, both of whom were jailed for the murder of Anni, was ‘riddled with inconsistencies’.

The third witness, Monde Mbolombo, has now admitted lying under oath during the 2012 trial of fellow hijacker Xolile Mngeni, who died in jail of a brain tumour last month.

Mr Booth added: ‘Certainly a strong case can be made out that the three main witnesses have given very poor evidence.’

‘The main problem is you are dealing with witnesses who are accomplices so you must treat the evidence with caution. The last of the accomplice witnesses has already admitted lying previously.

Dewani’s lawyers are yet to confirm whether they plan to make the application, but Mr Booth believes that in order for it to succeed, lawyers would have to be convinced that there is not enough evidence for a ‘reasonable person’ to convict him.

He previously chose not to give evidence in his own defence, owing to a fragile emotional state resulting from the murder.

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16 November 2014 | 7:32 pm – Source:


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