One of the men accused of murdering Bristol bride Anni Dewani on her honeymoon in South Africa has claimed the hijacking which led to her death was staged.
Mziwamadoda Qwabe’s claim was revealed in a statement which has been released by police at a bail hearing.
Mrs Dewani, 28, originally from Sweden, was found dead in Cape Town in November after being kidnapped with her husband. Shrien Dewani, 31, from Westbury-on-Trym, has been accused of hiring a hit man to kill his wife, but denies any involvement.
Mr Qwabe, 25, has claimed he made the statement after he was assaulted. In his statement, he said he had agreed to take part in a staged hijacking and robbery.
Mr Qwabe’s statement said he and Mr Mngeni drove off but stopped to let Mr Dewani out of the car and carried on.
Investigating officer Captain Paul Hendrikse said in the document: “[Qwabe said] that while he was driving he heard a single shot. That he got scared and nervous and parked the vehicle at the side of the road in Litha Park.
“That he got out and saw Mngeni looking for the bullet and that he [Qwabe] found the casing and threw it in a drain while they were running away; and that Mngeni brought the firearm to him the following day.”
Mr Qwabe and Mr Mnguni, 23, are charged with murder, kidnapping and robbery with aggravating circumstances. They are due to appear before Wynberg Regional Court on 25 February. A full trial at Western Cape High Court is due to begin at a later date.
South African authorities are trying to extradite Mr Dewani to answer questions about the murder of his bride. The sister of Anni Dewani last week said that if her brother-in-law is innocent he should have no problem returning to South Africa to face a court.
Ami Denborg urged Mr Dewani to explain the “truth” about what happened. “If he (Mr Dewani) hasn’t done it, if he’s innocent, then he should go back and identify the killers and tell us what happened in the court,” she said.
“Please tell us the truth of what happened and clear your name in court in South Africa.”