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Role of Dewani middleman comes into sharp focus

Shrien Dewani's lawyer suggested that Monde Mbolombo had a bigger role to play in Anni’s murder.

Murder accused Shrien Dewani sits in the dock during proceedings of his murder trial in the Western Cape High Court on 6 October 2014. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The role of a middleman in the plot to kill Anni Dewani has come into sharp focus on day three of the honeymoon murder trial.

British businessman Shrien Dewani, who is accused of ordering a hit on his wife Anni during their holiday in Cape Town in 2010, is on trial for the murder in the Western Cape High Court.

Three men are already serving lengthy jail sentences for their role in the murder.

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

Dewani denies any involvement in the crime

One of the killers turned state witness and is currently being cross-examined.

Three men have been convicted for their role in the honeymoon murder but a fourth, who acted as a middleman, turned state witness in return for immunity from prosecution.

Today, Dewani's lawyer suggested that Monde Mbolombo had a bigger role to play in the apparent staged hijacking.

Mbolombo introduced killers Mziwamadoda Qwabe and Zola Tongo.

Qwabe, who is the state's second witness in the trial,was adamant during cross-examination that Mbolombo's role was limited to simply being a middleman.

But Dewani's lawyer wasn't convinced.

He wanted to know why Mbolombo repeatedly called Qwabe on the night of the killing.

Qwabe's responses were vague and at times he said he didn't recall the conversations.

He is a key witness in the state's case against Dewani.

An unemployed tour guide, he was sentenced to 25 years in jail for his role in the murder.

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

Qwabe said his accomplice Xolile Mngeni shot the young woman while he was driving the hijacked car.

During cross-examination yesterday, defence counsel Francois 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.

GAY WEBSITE VISITS

Dewani's internet browser history is expected to form part of the state's case against him as prosecutors try to prove he had a motive to kill his wife.

The browser history shows Dewani logged onto a gay dating site and another site for men into fetish gear just two days after his wife was killed.

Dewani's formal admissions show he logged on to gay hook up site Gaydar while he was on honeymoon with his wife Anni.

Records show his computer also accessed the site just two days after his wife was murdered.

But he deactivated the account on 21 November 2010, a little over a week later.

Details about Dewani's internet browser history are contained in a 32-page document that was handed over to the Western Cape High Court this week.

The state could argue that his actions were not consistent with that of a grieving husband.

The following day, Dewani was questioned by members of his wife's family about what happened on the night she had been killed.

Part of that conversation was recorded by Anni's cousin and forms part of evidence in the case against him.

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.

Click here for Dewani's full plea explanation.

Click here for the Dewani trial live blog.