SHRIEN Dewani’s defence team has made a mockery of the state’s ballistics expert.
Even Dewani, accused of murdering his wife Anni in 2010, could not suppress his glee as Warrant Officer Pieter Engelbrecht conceded he had made mistakes.
Despite several tests, Engelbrecht could not say where in the car the shooter was or in which hand the gun was held.
At the heart of it all is who pulled the trigger.
Mziwamadoda Qwabe, a convicted hitman who turned state witness, claimed that Xolile Mngeni, who died in prison at the weekend, shot her.
Dewani’s defence disputed this, saying the gun barrel touched Anni’s hand when she was in the back seat.
Mngeni, allegedly sitting in the front passenger seat, could not have reached her. His arms were measured and were too short.
After the defence raised these issues, Engelbrecht conducted more tests. He took measurements of the VW Sharan two weeks ago.
“Does the vehicle have the same rear seats as it did when she was shot?” Advocate Pieter Botha asked.
“I suspect the back seat was replaced,” Engelbrecht said. The crime was re-enacted, but the same vehicle was not used.
Engelbrecht was also told to have Mngeni’s arms measured the day before he died. His arms were found to be longer than the defence claimed.
But Engelbrecht had measured from his armpits to the tip of his fingers. He conceded that he should have measured to the palm as Mngeni was holding a gun. – Nashira Davids and Philani Nombembe