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Anni Dewani Murderer Xolile Mngeni Dies In Prison

18/10/2014 19:57 BST | Updated 18/10/2014 19:59 BST

One of the men convicted of killing newlywed Anni Dewani on her honeymoon has died in prison, a South African official has confirmed.

Xolile Mngeni, 27, was jailed for life following a trial in 2012, during which the court heard he was suffering from a brain tumour and had five years to live.

He died in the hospital section of Cape Town prison, minister of justice and correctional services Michael Masutha told the South African Press Association.

Mngeni, who had a rare brain tumour removed in 2011, died at 2.30pm local time, Mr Masutha said.

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Xolile Mngeni, 27, was jailed for life following a trial in 2012

The killer was denied parole in July after officials ruled he could receive appropriate medical care at Goodwood correctional centre.

Mngeni's death comes 12 days after Shrien Dewani went on trial in South Africa accused of murdering his wife.

The 34-year-old denies plotting to kill Mrs Dewani on their luxury getaway to Cape Town in November 2010, as they took a cab ride through a township.

The care home owner, from Weston-on-Trym near Bristol, is accused of paying three men to kill his wife, days after their lavish £200,000 wedding in Mumbai.

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Mngeni's death comes 12 days after Shrien Dewani went on trial accused of murdering his wife

Dewani said he and his wife were kidnapped at gunpoint as they drove through Gugulethu in Cape Town in a taxi. He was released unharmed, but Mrs Dewani's body was found in the abandoned car the next day. She had been shot.

Mngeni was convicted of shooting Mrs Dewani, while taxi driver Zola Tongo and Mziwamadoda Qwabe are also serving jail terms in connection with the murder.

Reports suggest prosecutors in South Africa had spoken to Mngeni but had not planned to call him as a witness in the trial because of the poor state of his health.

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Anni and Shrien Dewani

Mngeni was found guilty at the Western Cape High Court in 2012 of premeditated murder.

He was also convicted of robbery with aggravating circumstances and illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition. But he was acquitted of Mrs Dewani's kidnapping.

During his sentencing hearing, a judge branded Mngeni ''a merciless and evil person'' who deserved the maximum punishment for killing Mrs Dewani.

Judge Robert Henney said: "'He had no regard to her right to freedom, dignity, and totally disregarded and showed no respect to her right to life by brutally killing her with utter disdain."

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