H S Rao
London, Jan 12 (PTI) Anni Dewani, the Indian-originbride killed in South Africa during her honeymoon, was ahitman''s only target, one of her hijackers has claimed.
According to a report in the Daily Mirror, XolileMngeni told prison bosses the 28-year-old newly-wed wasexecuted as she cowered in the back of the cab he hadsnatched.
And Mngeni alleged 30-year-old care home boss Shrienopened the door of the taxi and walked away before his wifewas shot dead and he was not thrown out of the window as heclaims, the report said.
23-year-old Mngeni was speaking about the last momentsof Anni''s life from a prison near Cape Town where he isawaiting trial for murder and kidnap.
His claims contradict those that Anni and her husbandShrien were the victims of a botched robbery while onhoneymoon in South Africa.
A jail source said: "The purpose of the exercise wassimply to kill. Rape was never part of the plan."
Butt Mngeni, 23, stopped short of implicating Shrien �fighting extradition to South Africa where he faces chargesover his wife''s death � claiming he did not know who orderedAnni''s death. He has not revealed whether he or co-accusedMziwamadoda Qwabe, 25, pulled the trigger.
The jail source added: "He has admitted he was at theheart of it. He says he was told by Qwabe that there wassomebody he needed to kill and he would be paid."
Mngeni and Qwabe travelled together to an arrangedambush point in the township of Gugulethu where Anni andShrien arrived in a taxi driven by Zola Tongo.
The 31-year-old cabbie, jailed for 18 years for hispart in the murder, claims Shrien paid the gang 1,400 poundsto have his wife killed.
The Bristol businessman has strenuously denied anyinvolvement in Anni''s death, describing the claims as"ludicrous".
His lawyer, Clare Montgomery claimed a group ofrobbers and murderers were desperate to escape a life sentenceby falsely accusing him.
Shrien''s representative Max Clifford also rejectedMngeni''s claims after the accused alleged he was torturedduring interrogation. He said: "If this man was tortured, thenyou cannot rely too much." PTI HSR