Dewani trial: CCTV footage shown in court

Zola Tongo testified he was taken to the Cape Grace Hotel by police after reporting the alleged hijacking.

Shrien Dewani leaves the Western Cape High Court on 27 October 2014. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Prosecutors in the Shrien Dewani murder trial are using CCTV footage to corroborate the testimony of state witness Zola Tongo.

The taxi driver has been testifying in the Western Cape High Court about his role in the alleged plot to kill Dewani's wife Anni Hindocha Dewani.

Dewani is accused of orchestrating his wife's murder while the couple were on their honeymoon in Cape Town almost four years ago.

Anni was shot dead in apparent staged hijacking in Khayelitsha in November 2010.

Dewani was extradited to South Africa earlier this year to stand trial for his part in her death.

Three South African men have already been sentenced to lengthy prison terms for their part in the crime.

Xolile Mngeni, one of the men convicted for his role in the killing, died from cancer in prison earlier this month.

Tongo testified he was taken to the Cape Grace Hotel by police after reporting the alleged hijacking.

He told the court Dewani approached him in the hotel and asked him whether the job had been done.

Tongo said he replied that he didn't know.

He said he warned Dewani there were surveillance cameras.

CCTV footage shows the two men talking and Dewani looking around the room and then pacing.

Tongo claims Dewani paid him R1,000 two days later.

Another video played in court shows the money exchange.

Sitting calmly on the stand, Tongo told the court he decided to speak out about what happened because he wanted peace of mind and knew the truth would eventually come out.

He testified that a friend had informed him about the two other men who had been arrested.

Tongo said he then handed himself over to police on 20 November, several days after the 'planned' hijacking occurred.

As always, Dewani showed no emotion and at times made notes.

Anni's relatives listened to Tongo's testimony and at one point her uncle Ashok Hindocha could be seen shaking his head and looking down.


The court also heard more details of what allegedly happened before the Swedish Bride was killed.

Tongo explained in detail how the alleged planned hijacking involving the honeymoon couple unfolded.

He told the court the plot was discussed with the two other men convicted of Anni's murder Mziwamadoda Qwabe and Mngeni.

Tongo said it involved them targeting his taxi in Gugulethu.

He said one jumped on the bonnet and the other approached the driver's window.

Tongo said he recognised them because they had met hours earlier.

He testified how they were told to handover their phones, watches and wallets.

Tongo also told the court Anni was screaming while Shrien tried to console her.


Evidence relating to a conversation Shrien Dewani had with a male escort in April 2010 was earlier deemed inadmissible.

The prosecution argued the evidence would have shown Dewani was engaged in a commercial sexual relationship with UK-based escort Leopold Leisser while in a relationship with his future wife.

The state explained the evidence was relevant, because it would help the court in evaluating the probability Dewani conspired to murder his wife, but Judge Traverso disagreed.

Earlier in the trial, Traverso also refused to allow the state permission to submit other evidence related to Dewani's sexuality.

A series of email exchanges between Dewani and an unnamed man were previously deemed inadmissible and irrelevant.

The case resumes on Wednesday.

For more on Shrien Dewani, click here.

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