South African prosecutors say the confession of a taxi driver to killing Anni Dewani confirmed her husband, Bristol businessman Shrien Dewani, was part of the murder plot.
Mziwamadoda Qwabe yesterday pleaded guilty to four counts in the Western Cape High Court and was jailed for 25 years.
Judge John Hlophe imposed 15 years’ imprisonment for robbery with aggravating circumstances, five years each for kidnapping and illegal possession of a firearm, and 25 years for murder.
The plea agreement would “strengthen the case against her husband and a co-accused”, South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said on Wednesday.
“We are very happy and satisfied with the agreement because the agreement gives us new information on what happened on that night when Anni Dewani was killed,” Western Cape NPA spokesman Eric Ntabazalila told Independent Online.
“It confirms that (her husband) Shrien Dewani was part of the plan… it also tells us Xolile Mngeni was the one who did the shooting.”
He said the agreement was a positive step towards ensuring justice for the slain bride, her family and friends.
Mr Dewani, 32, from Westbury-on-Trym, has always strenuously denied having any involvement in the murder of his new wife on their honeymoon in South Africa in 2010.
Mrs Dewani was shot dead after the couple’s taxi was carjacked outside Cape Town. She was found the next morning in the abandoned taxi at Gugulethu township.
South African authorities have been trying for the last 18 months to secure the deportation of Mr Dewani to face charges.
Earlier this month, it emerged the process could be delayed for another year, after his lawyer said the Westbury-on-Trym businessman needed a period of calm – possibly up to a year – to recover from depression.
Chief Magistrate Howard Riddle at Westminster Magistrates Court adjourned the hearing to September 18 for a psychiatrist – employed by the South African government – to examine Dewani and give the court more information about his condition before making any other decision.