Xolile Mngeni, charged with the murder of Anni Dewani during a honeymoon visit to South Africa in 2010, appears in court in Cape Town, Reuters
Xolile Mngeni, charged with the murder of Anni Dewani during a honeymoon visit to South Africa in 2010, appears in court in Cape Town, Reuters

Xolile Mngeni, a South African man accused of shooting honeymooner Anni Dewani, has pleaded not guilty to killing her at the opening of his murder trial.

Mngeni denied murder, kidnapping, robbery and illegal possession of firearms and ammunition at the Cape high court in South Africa.

Anni Dewani, who was on honeymoon with her new husband Shrien Dewani, a Bristol care home owner, was killed in a car-jacking in South Africa. Shrien Diwani is fighting extradition from Britain to South Africa on charges that he orchestrated the killing.

Mngeni's trial was delayed after it emerged he has a brain tumour but the 29-year-old was cleared as fit to stand trial. A medical exam found it would "not alter the situation insofar as the ability of the accused to understand" the proceedings, said Judge Robert Henney.

The court was told that more than 32 witnesses had been lined up to give evidence against him.

Mngeni was named by Mziwamadoda Qwabe - another man accused of involvement in the murder - as the gunman who shot and killed the 28-year-old Swedish bride in November 2010. Qwabe claimed he was acting under orders from Dewani's husband, Shrien.

Qwabe said Mngeni killed the new bride by firing a single shot from a car. He said they had both been recruited by the couple's driver to kill the young woman on her husband's orders, after agreeing to a 15,000 rand (£1,200) fee.

Qwabe pleaded guilty and was jailed for 25 years.

Prosecutors were still fighting to extradite the husband from Britain to stand trial in South Africa.

The driver of the car, Zola Tongo, said Shrien Dewani orchestrated his wife's death.