Dewani Trial: State’s key witness to take the stand

Taxi driver Zola Tongo’s testimony may provide more details of events leading up to and after the hijacking.

FILE: 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: Thomas Holder/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The state's key witness in the Shrien Dewani murder trial is expected to take the stand in the Western Cape High Court this afternoon.

Taxi driver Zola Tongo has already been convicted and sentenced for his role in the murder of Anni Hindocha Dewani during a hijacking in November 2010, allegedly orchestrated by her husband.

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.

He denies any involvement in the crime.

Tongo is allegedly the link between the British businessman and the other two men convicted of Anni's murder, Mziwamadoda Qwabe and Xolile Mgeni.

Mngeni passed away in prison earlier this month after a battle with cancer.

Tongo is expected to shed light on how he was allegedly recruited by Dewani.

His testimony may also provide more details of events leading up to and after the alleged staged hijacking almost four years ago.

Tongo pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to 18 years in prison in December after entering into a plea bargain with the state.

In his plea agreement, Tongo stated that Dewani had offered R15,000 to have his wife killed.

Dewani has denied any involvement in his wife's murder and claims Tongo was hired to arrange a special helicopter trip.

Earlier on, United Kingdom-based male prostitute Leopold Leisser with a German accent spoke to the court.

He testified that Dewani made use of his services, which include catering to men with sadomasochistic fetishes.

But it wasn't long before Judge Jeanette Traverso questioned the state about the relevance of Leisser's testimony.

Prosecutor Adrian Mopp tried to convince the judge his witness would provide context relevant to the case, but Traverso wasn't satisfied.

She asked the prosecution to provide a written statement substantiating why she should allow Leisser to testify.

In the meantime, he has stood down as a witness.

Dewani acknowledged his bisexuality at the beginning of his trial.

For more on Shrien Dewani, click here.

Or follow proceedings on EWN's live Dewani trial blog.