April 13, 2014
Anni Dewani trial: Gunman 'needed the cash for tribal circumcision'A GUNMAN shot dead Anni Dewani to pay for his ritual circumcision, it was claimed last night.
by Shekhar Bhatia
Her family say Xolile Mngeni was “ashamed” to have turned 25 without having the operation in line with tribal tradition.
Zulu boys are circumcised by the age of 18 and put through a gruelling regime as a right of passage.
But drug dealer Mngeni lived with his elderly grandmother and became stressed when friends discovered he had failed “to become a real man”.
The murder plot was suggested to him by taxi driver Zola Tongo.
Mngeni agreed because his share of the £1,400 hit fee would help pay for the circumcision and a three-month “initiation school” in the mountains.
Last night Anni’s uncle Ashok said: “We have been informed of Mngeni’s reasons for shooting her and it has made us as a family even more angry.
“I have since read about the Zulu tribal initiation ceremony and it is meant to make men out of boys.
“But Mngeni has a sick view of it all. He shot a defenceless young woman on her honeymoon and planned to use his blood money to make himself appear as a man.
“He is not a man. He is an evil human being or even an animal and I hope he rots for the rest of his life in jail.
“Any such circumcision could not cost that much in South Africa and it is shocking to think he killed somebody for those reasons.”
Zulu initiation ceremonies generally see young men forced into seclusion in the bush or mountains for around three months before undergoing circumcision and painting their skin with white clay. [This seems to be a description of Xhosa ceremonies. Zulu circumcision only goes back to 2009. It had been stopped by Shaka Zulu (1787–1828).]
Mngeni was convicted of premeditated murder and jailed for life. He was also convicted of aggravated robbery and illegal possession of a firearm.
Tongo was jailed for 18 years and Mziwamadoda Qwabe got 25 years for the murder. All three men implicated Anni’s husband as having ordered her murder.
Millionaire businessman Shrien Dewani, 34, of Bristol, was extradited to South Africa last week and charged with his wife’s murder after a three-and-a-half year battle to remain in Britain.
Dewani is accused of ordering the hit on his new wife Anni, 28, who was shot in Tongo’s taxi in November 2010.