Xolile Mngeni, 25, sat with his arms folded as Judge Robert Henney told a packed courtroom in Cape Town Mngeni has come across as a merciless and evil person, South Africa's Eyewitness News reported.
Throughout his trial, Mngeni has maintained his innocence in the killing of 28-year-old Anni Dewani.
Her husband Shrien Dewani is fighting extradition to South Africa.
Dewani, who is being treated for depression at a psychiatric hospital in Britain, is accused of orchestrating the murder of his bride while the couple was vacationing in South Africa.
Chipotle plans first price increase in 3 years
Putin thinks Obama would save him if he were drowning