Witness accused of lying at Dewani trial
A key alibi witness lied about the whereabouts of tourist Anni Dewani's alleged killer, the Western Cape High Court heard.
The State accused Nombulelo Mato, 24, of fabricating her testimony in Xolile Mngeni's trial.
She told the court her friend Khuselwa and her friend's boyfriend Mngeni slept over at her house on November 13, 2010, the night Dewani was killed.
"Your version [of events] is very different to that of the accused. You couldn't have been talking about the same occasion," deputy director of public prosecutions Adrian Mopp put it to her.
"Because you said that's the only occasion the accused slept over at your house, our submission will be that, unfortunately, you came to the court to come and lie."
Mato replied she was not there to lie, but to tell the court what had happened.
Mngeni has pleaded not guilty to hijacking, robbing and killing Dewani in Gugulethu, Cape Town, that night. He previously told the court where he was that night and named witnesses who could corroborate his account.
Pointing out differences between her testimony and Mngeni's, the State said that in his account, Mngeni said he arrived at Mato's house with his girlfriend.
However, Mato said he was mistaken and that Khuselwa was already with her when he arrived.
Mngeni had testified that when he got to the house in Khayelitsha, the television programme Generations was on.
Mopp asked Mato whether this was true.
"No, Generations does not play Saturdays. He did not arrive there at that time," she answered.
Mngeni had told the court he went to sleep around 9pm or 10pm.
"But the time he says he went to sleep is when you said he arrived," Mopp put it to Mato.
Mngeni had testified that his girlfriend had pre-arranged for them to sleep over at Mato's that night, but according to Mato this was not the case. Instead, Khuselwa had asked for permission for Mngeni to stay later in the evening.
Mopp said Mngeni had made no mention of being in the company of five people, as Mato had testified.
Whereas Mato testified that Khuselwa asked for hot water the next morning so Mngeni could wash himself, Mngeni had testified that he woke up and left straight away.
Mato was allowed to leave the stand and the defence closed its case.
The trial was postponed until Wednesday for the State's closing argument. The defence will present its closing argument on Thursday.