Dewani trial: State witness accused of wanting to hold Anni hostage

Francois van Zyl suggested the hijackers wanted to hold Dewani's wife hostage in exchange for a ransom.

British businessman Shrien Dewani appears in the Western Cape High Court on 6 October 2014. Picture: Sapa.

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape High Court on Monday heard Anni Hindocha Dewani's killers wanted to hold her hostage in exchange for a ransom.

Her husband's defence counsel put this scenario to the state's second witness during gruelling cross-examination.

Shrien Dewani is accused of ordering a hit on his wife during their honeymoon in Cape Town during November 2010.

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

Dewani pleaded not guilty to all five charges against him, including one of murder.

He claims he and his wife were victims of a "traumatic" hijacking.

Dewani's lawyer Francois van Zyl has accused state witness Mziwamadoda Qwabe of pulling the trigger.

But according to Van Zyl, Qwabe fired the shot accidentally.

Van Zyl suggested the hijackers wanted to hold Dewani's wife hostage in exchange for a ransom.

The lawyer argued it was for that reason the hijackers let Dewani go on the night of the attack.

Qwabe denies being the triggerman and dismissed Van Zyl's claims.

He says Dewani hired hitmen to kill his wife during a staged hijacking.

The three people involved are already serving lengthy sentences for their role in the killing.

Van Zyl asked Qwabe if he made any demands from the prosecution in exchange for evidenced in the Shrien Dewani murder trial.

Qwabe answered that he had asked the prosecution what he could benefit if he were to turn state witness.

It's understood Qwabe used this as a mitigating factor in order to get early parole.

Qwabe also agreed that he asked for a sentence reduction, which means that he wanted parole after 12 years.

He told the court the case was causing both he and his family a lot of stress.

He has since concluded his testimony.

At the same time, the British businessman could be seen wiping away tears in the dock.

At one point he held his head down while his brother passed him a tissue.

Shrien Dewani's brother Preyen (left) and his father Prakash at the Western Cape High Court. Picture Thomas Holder/EWN

In a dramatic twist earlier on, Qwabe was accused of firing the shot that killed Anni.

However, Qwabe says his accomplice Xolile Mngeni fired the shot. Mngeni was sentenced to life in prison for pulling the trigger.

Van Zyl told Qwabe that it could not have been Mngeni.

He says Qwabe's yellow glove tested positive for primer residue.

Van Zyl also suggested Qwabe shot the woman accidentally after grabbing her leg.

He says the woman's wounds were not consistent with an execution-style killing.

Van Zyl began by reading out a statement by Zola Tongo who indicated both Qwabe and Mngeni had guns.

Sitting in the witness box Qwabe, who was the driver on the night Anni was killed, disagreed with van Zyl, maintaining he didn't have a gun.

Van Zyl then questioned him on his version about the shooting which led to Anni's death.

Qwabe said she was sitting on the back seat, but van Zyl told Qwabe that his version could not be correct and was untrue.

Van Zyl indicated that it was Qwabe who shot Anni and not Mngeni, but Qwabe disagreed.

The yellow kitchen gloves used on the night were also shown in court as evidence.

_Read _ Dewani's full plea explanation.

You can also follow EWN's _ Dewani trial live blog for rolling updates._