Dewani trial: State to call 2nd witness

The trial started on Monday with the Briton pleading not guilty to all 5 charges against him.

Murder accused British businessman Shrien Dewani sits in the dock during proceedings of his murder trial in the Western Cape High Court on 6 October 2014. Picture: Sapa.

CAPE TOWN - The prosecution in Shrien Dewani's murder trial is expected to call its second witness when the matter resumes in the Western Cape High Court today.

The trial started on Monday, with the Briton pleading not guilty to the five criminal charges against him.

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

Dewani's version of what happened in the days leading up to his wife's murder were detailed in a 37-page plea explanation on Monday.

He denies any involvement in the alleged staged hijacking in which she was killed.

A crime scene video showing Anni's body slumped over the back seat of a taxi and forensic details about the gunshot that killed her were also revealed on day one of the trial.

Gasps emanated from the public gallery when crime scene footage was shown in court.

The state's first witness, pathologist Janette Verster, said Anni was shot in the neck and bled out in a "matter of heartbeats".

The prosecution is expected to call its second witness today.

The witness list has not been released to the public.

Dewani was extradited from Britain in April after losing a three-year battle to avoid trial in South Africa.


Dewani didn't deny being in contact with convicted killer Zola Tongo but claims he was arranging a surprise helicopter trip for Anni.

Tongo however claims Dewani wanted his wife killed.

In his plea explanation, Dewani said he met Tongo, a taxi driver, on arrival in Cape Town.

He said Tongo claimed to be an executive tour guide who had previously chauffeured a number of VIPs.

He said he asked Tongo if he could organise a private helicopter trip as a surprise for his wife.

But the prosecution will try to convince the court that the pair was arranging Anni's murder.

The court heard that on the night of the killing, Dewani and Anni were driven around in Cape Town by Tongo along the motorway because they could not decide where to go to enjoy Cape Town's night life.

They turned off the motorway and the "next thing I remember was banging noises coming from the front and the right hand side of the car." The occupants were ordered at gunpoint to lie down and to hand over their phones and money.

"They spoke to each other in a language I did not understand. The next thing I remember, they were both shouting at me to get out."

"The one with the gun put it to my head again and threatened to shoot me if I did not get out...I recall hitting the ground and the car speeding away. The last thing I had said to Anni was to be quiet and not to say anything. I said this to her in Gujarati," said the statement, read by defence lawyer Francois van Zyl.

Dewani said the hijacking was a traumatic experience that resulted in him being hospitalised for psychological problems for three years.

Details about his millionaire lifestyle were also revealed in his plea explanation.

Click here for Dewani's full plea explanation.

Click here for the Dewani trial live blog.