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Dewani killer must get life - State

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By SAPA

Cape Town - Xolile Mngeni must be jailed for life for killing honeymoon tourist Anni Dewani, the Western Cape High Court heard on Monday.

Shareen Riley, for the State, argued that Mngeni, 25, had not shown any substantial or compelling circumstances for the court to deviate from the minimum imposed sentence for premeditated murder.

“The murder was committed out of greed for pure economical reasons. For the State, it's more telling what he did after the offence,” Riley said.

“The callousness of his actions, the lack of remorse, can be found in the shopping trip he did mere hours after the murder, at the Waterfront.”

Dewani was shot dead in Gugulethu on November 13, 2010, in an allegedly fake hijacking. Her body was found the next day.

Mngeni was convicted last week of the tourist's premeditated murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances and the illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.

He was paid a fee to kill the tourist and spent a large amount of money he previously never had in a shopping trip the day after her death.

Riley painted a less than perfect picture of the killer, saying he had a blasé attitude, antisocial behaviour and did not seem like a candidate for rehabilitation.

“He displays an arrogance, a cockiness and is a person devoid of any morality.”

She said his brain cancer could not be considered a mitigating factor, as he currently had a clean bill of health and a premature death was not definite.

Medical parole was always an option if he became terminally ill.

An oncologist earlier testified that Mngeni suffered from a rare brain cancer, which only one in five people survived in a five-year period.

Riley said the court should not confuse mercy for sympathy.

Judge Robert Henney said that in his view, mitigating factors included Mngeni's serious medical condition, his age, first offender status and poor background.

“The vulnerability of the accused as a poor person was, in my view, exploited,” the judge said.

Riley said that many people from similar backgrounds chose the moral high ground and never committed murder for money.

If Mngeni had been a man desperately trying to support himself and his family, he would have spent the money on basic necessities instead of brand name clothing. - Sapa

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