Tongo: Dewani never asked me to arrange helicopter trip

Zola Tongo is testifying at the Western Cape High Court about his role in Anni Hindocha Dewani's murder.

FILE: Zola Tongo (C) covers his face as he attends a session at the Cape Town High Court  on 7 December 2010. Picture: EPA/NIC BOTHMA.

CAPE TOWN - A Cape Town taxi driver testifying in the honeymoon murder trial has denied Shrien Dewani's claim that he was asked to arrange a helicopter trip.

Zola Tongo, who's on the witness stand for a third day, has been convicted and sentenced for his role in Anni Hindocha Dewani's murder in an alleged staged hijacking.

Dewani is accused of hiring hitmen to kill his wife during the couple's honeymoon in Cape Town in November 2010.

Anni was shot and killed in an alleged staged hijacking. Her body was found in an abandoned Volkswagen Sharan.

Tongo, a convicted criminal turned state witness, has been testifying about his role in the apparent murder plot which involved recruiting hitmen to stage the hijacking in Gugulethu.

He told the court the British businessman never mentioned anything about organising a special helicopter trip.

When asked about this by state prosecutor Shireen Riley, Tongo simply answered no.

This is contradictory to Dewani's version of events.

He claims he made use of Tongo's services to arrange the helicopter trip as a surprise for his wife Anni.

He said Tongo claimed to be an executive tour guide who had previously chauffeured a number of VIPs.

But Tongo insists he didn't know Dewani and his wife were on honeymoon when he helped to plan the woman's murder.

Tongo said he only realised the woman who had been killed was Dewani's wife the morning after the murder.

He said when he picked the pair up from the Cape Grace Hotel hours before the murder, he thought Dewani was with a female business partner.

He said the woman looked very different to the one he had met at the airport the previous day, who Dewani introduced as his wife.

During cross-examination, Tongo said he didn't know the couple was on honeymoon.

But Dewani's lawyer found it hard to believe Tongo wouldn't ask why the couple was in Cape Town if he was trying to sell his services as a local guide.

For more on Shrien Dewani, click here.

Or follow proceedings on _EWN's live Dewani trial blog. _