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Dewani trial: Zola Tongo's lawyer to hand over documents

William da Grass took to the witness stand to explain why records needed by the defence are still outstanding.

FILE: Zola Tongo covers his head as he prepares to face murder charges in the Western Cape High Court. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The former lawyer of one of the men convicted for Anni Dewani's murder has assured the Western Cape High Court he will obtain outstanding documents which could be used in Shrien Dewani's trial next month.

Dewani appeared in the dock today for a pre-trial hearing.

He is accused of hiring hitmen to kill his wife Anni during their honeymoon in Cape Town in 2010.

Anni was shot dead in November 2010 in a taxi in Gugulethu township on the outskirts of Cape Town.

Dewani denies any wrongdoing but prosecutors have accused him of conspiring to kill his wife.

The British businessman was declared fit to stand trial last month by a panel of five mental health experts, allaying concerns about his state of mind.

Zola Tongo's former lawyer, William da Grass, had to play a part in the overall legal proceedings relating to the murder.

He took to the witness stand today to explain why phone records relating to his ex-client required by the defence are still outstanding.

Da Grass told the court he has no interest in the matter now that Tongo is behind bars. He raised concerns over attorney-client privilege.

"I've never been reluctant to hand over information, I can't be because the privilege doesn't allow me to. All we've ever wanted was Tongo to be given an opportunity to express his views."

But Judge Robert Henney pointed out this wasn't even an issue as Tongo is a state witness in Dewani's trial and can testify about the records if need be.

Dewani was clean cut, even dapper as he stood in the dock.

His trial will finally start on 6 October.

Dewani claimed he and Tongo, the driver of the vehicle, were forced out of the car unharmed before Anni was driven away and killed.

She was found dead in the back of the abandoned vehicle with a bullet in the neck.

However, Tongo turned state witness and, in return for a reduced sentence, alleged Dewani had paid R15,000 for his wife to be killed. He was jailed for 18 years.

Anni's family will travel to Cape Town for the start of the trial.

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