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Dewani Trial: Witness dissected on the stand

Mziwamadoda Qwabe was unsure of himself and couldn't recall certain details.

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

CAPE TOWN - Shrien Dewani's defence team on Thursday dissected convicted killer turned state witness Mziwamadoda Qwabe's testimony.

He became unsure of himself on the stand and said he couldn't recall certain details about the night Anni was murdered.

Dewani, a British businessman, is accused of hiring hit men to kill his bride in an alleged staged hijacking during their honeymoon in Cape Town in November 2010.

He pleaded not guilty to all five charges levelled against him by the state on Monday.

Qwabe's confidence slipped, his memory faltered and his answers grew vague under cross-examination.

He told the court that hotel receptionist Monde Mbolombo acted as a middleman, introducing him to Zola Tongo, his accomplice in the crime.

Qwabe denies that Mbolombo was deeply involved in arranging the hijacking.

But when confronted with phone records and audio evidence that Mbolombo called him more than once on the night of the shooting, Qwabe struggled to explain why.

He said he couldn't remember what those conversations were about.

Defence lawyer Francois van Zyl suggested Mbolombo played a definitive role in the hijacking.

Qwabe struggled to explain discrepancies in his plea agreement and various affidavits.

The honeymoon murder trial was adjourned early because he was suffering from upset stomach.

Shortly after lunch, Qwabe told Judge Janette Traverso that while he was not one to complain, he couldn't continue because of an upset stomach.

Earlier, Shrien Dewani also complained about stomach problems.

Qwabe on Thursday told the court he and his two accomplices staged the hijacking in which Anni was killed in exchange for R15,000.

His accomplice, Xolile Mngeni, shot the young woman while he was driving the hijacked car.

Van Zyl asked Qwabe why he waited almost two years before entering into a plea bargain with the state.

He also got Qwabe to admit that he lied under oath in a previous court hearing when he said he had an alibi on the night of the murder.

The matter will resume on Monday.