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Dewani trial: State calls first witness

Pathologist Dr Janette Verster has begun testifying in the Western Cape High Court.

Honeymoon murder accused Shrien Dewani sits in the dock in the Western Cape High Court on 6 October 2014. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The state has called its first witness in the Shrien Dewani murder trial in the Western Cape High Court.

Pathologist Dr Janette Verster took the stand and testified there were no signs that the deceased was raped.

Dewani is charged with orchestrating the murder of his wife Anni in Cape Town in 2010.

Her body was found in an abandoned car in Khayelitsha following an apparent staged hijacking.

Dewani was implicated in his wife's death by three co-accused who agreed to testify for the state in exchange for lesser sentences.

He has pleaded not guilty to all five charges against him including kidnapping, robbery with aggravated circumstances and murder.

Pathologist Dr Janette Verster took the stand and testified there were no signs that the deceased was raped.

In a police statement Dewani outlined the last days he spent with Anni before her murder.

He says they went to a restaurant in Strand and while they were eating received a SMS from their taxi driver Zolo Tongo.

Dewani thought it was about a helicopter trip Tongo was arranging for them.

In an SMS sent to him, Dewani states that he had "sorted it out," referring to the helicopter tour.

Once they were in Gugulethu, Dewani says a man with a gun confronted them.

He claims he pleaded with the apparent hijacker to let them go and they were forced out of the vehicle.

Dewani cried as the statement was read out in court.

Earlier the British businessman admitted to being bisexual and revealed intimate details about his relationship with his bride.

When asked to plead, Dewani told the court in a clear voice that he was not guilty of the five charges against him.

His lawyer Francois van Zyl then read out a prepared statement on his client's behalf.

In it, Dewani admits to being bisexual.

He said his sexual interactions with men were mostly physical encounters or email chats, including interactions with a male prostitute.

He said he met Anni in May 2009, when a friend gave him her number and there was a mutual chemistry.

However, their relationship had its ups and downs and Anni ended their relationship in early 2010.

But by April, they were again discussing a future together and he proposed on a romantic trip to Paris in June that year.

Dewani became tearful at one point, as his lawyer continued to reveal details about their courtship, their wedding and the tragic honeymoon.

He stared straight ahead throughout proceedings and at times there were tears in his eyes while the Hindocha family stared at the British businessman as he stood in the dock.

Meanwhile, an African National Congress Women's League member says Dewani must come clean about his involvement in his wife's murder.

A small group of league members gathered outside the court.

League member Angie Mayalo says, "We are not happy at all about him killing a woman, he is guilty, he must rot in jail."

For the latest on the trial go to EWN's Dewani Trial live blog.

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