Dewani trial: Anni's cousin testifies

Sneha Mashru’s testimony is expected to shed light on Anni's relationship with Shrien Dewani.

The late Anni Hindocha Dewani and her cousin, Sneha Mashru. Picture: Sneha Mashru's Facebook page

CAPE TOWN - The prosecution in the honeymoon murder trial has called Anni Hindocha Dewani's cousin Sneha Mashru to testify.

Her testimony is expected to shed more light on the British bride's relationship with her husband, Shrien Dewani.

Dewani, a British businessman, is accused of ordering a hit in on Anni during their honeymoon in Cape Town in November 2010.

Anni was killed in an apparent staged hijacking Khayelitsha.

Mashru has described Dewani's behaviour as strange just days after Anni was killed.

She has testified that Dewani did not act like a grieving husband who had lost his wife while on honeymoon, saying he acted normal and cold at times and did not seem to share the emotions her family was feeling.

Mashru says Dewani also complained about his shoulders being stiff and wanting a massage.

Mashru says after her cousin's death, Dewani planned his wife's funeral on a detailed spread sheet.

At the funeral parlour, she said Dewani mishandled her cousin's body by trying to force bangles on her hand.

Mashru told the court she was so concerned, she told him he was hurting her.

She also testified about text message exchanges, and said her cousin was thinking of getting a divorce.

Mashru told the court, a divorce, she knew, would shame the Dewani family.

In the dock, the British businessman showed no emotion during her testimony.

Anni and Mashru grew up together in Sweden and the two went to high school and university together.

The young bride reportedly confided in Mashru about the friction in her relationship with Dewani.

Mashru was clearly suspicious of the British businessman after her cousin's death.

According to court papers, she recorded a conversation she'd had with him a little more than a week after Anni's death.

During that conversation Dewani's his in-laws asked him to explain exactly what happened on the night of the hijacking.

Three South Africans were sentenced to lengthy prison terms for their part in her killing but the trigger man, Xolile Mngeni, passed away at the weekend after a long battle with cancer.

A legal expert has reiterated it would've been risky to call Mngeni as a witness in the trial by either the state or Defence.

Lawyer William Booth believes Mngeni's death won't affect the trial.

"I don't think he would have been called by the prosecution as a state witness, he pleaded not guilty to the charges."

Earlier today British journalist Nick Parker was called to testify.

Parker, from The Sun newspaper, interviewed Dewani at his publicist's, Max Clifford's office.

Parker told the court Dewani appeared distressed as the interview proceeded.

He also testified that he'd attempted to ask Dewani about his sexuality but he requested the recorder be turned off.

Parker says the British businessman told him Anni wanted to see the African nightlife because she wanted to do an African dance at a baby shower, adding that Dewani never mentioned anything about a surprise helicopter ride.

A transcript of the interview, conducted nearly four years ago, has been handed to the court.

To read Dewani's full plea explanation, click here.

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