Anni Dewani's killer jailed for life in S. Africa

A man convicted of murdering Swedish honeymooner Anni Dewani in South Africa two years ago was sentenced on Wednesday to life in prison.

Sentencing Xolile Mngeni, 25, the judge told him he was a "merciless and evil person" who had shown no remorse in carrying out an act of premeditated murder.

Two other local men have been jailed over the November 2010 killing and have claimed that Anni's British husband Shrien Dewani ordered the hit.

Mngeni was found guilty of firing the shot that killed Dewani just two weeks after the Hindu couple's wedding in what prosecutors say was a faked hijacking.

"It's difficult to imagine the absolute terror and horror she must have endured when she stared down the barrel of the gun," Judge Robert Henney said in the Cape Town court. "It was an act of shameless cowardice when the accused shot her at point-blank range."

Her husband is facing extradition to South Africa but has denied plotting to kill his 28-year-old wife.

Mngeni, a suspected small-time drug dealer, was found guilty of plotting with two co-accused to carry out the murder for 15,000 rand (now $1,700).

"In the case of murder this court is obliged to impose a sentence of life imprisonment," Henney said.

"In the case of robbery with aggravating circumstances, this court is obliged to impose a sentence of 15 years imprisonment."

Dewani's father Vinod Hindocha, who had travelled from London to South Africa for the hearing, stared at Henney with a blank expression as the sentence was read out.

"I wanted to look into Mngeni's eyes, to see, when he was sentenced," a weeping Hindocha said on the steps of the court afterwards. "That is why I came all this way."

Henney said he had taken into account the fact that Mngeni, who lived in a slum and had only a primary school education, came from a poor background and that he had been diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer.

Mngeni had undergone chemotherapy, but there was a high chance that the tumour would recur in the future.

But the judge said it would be unfair and unjust to show leniency to "a merciless and evil person, who has consistently shown no remorse".

Hindocha said the "full picture" would only emerge once Shrien Dewani came to Cape Town to face a hearing.

"Me and my wife have not slept a night since Anni was murdered. Shrien holds the key to that," he said, vowing that his family would fight on until they had justice.

"We need all the questions answered so that we can move on with our lives."

A British court on Monday ruled that Dewani, who is being treated at a psychiatric hospital for depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, was not yet fit to face extradition to South Africa.

A judge set his extradition hearing for July after hearing that the 32-year-old was now a "husk" of a man who suffers flashbacks of the night his bride was killed.

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