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Dewani trial: Tongo in the hot seat

Dewani's lawyer has questioned him about contradictions between his testimony and a sworn statement.

FILE: Zola Tongo covers his head as he prepares to face murder charges in the Western Cape High Court. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - British businessman Shrien Dewani's advocate Francois Van Zyl is expected to turn up the heat on the state's key witness in the honeymoon murder trial, when cross-examination resumes in the Western Cape High Court today.

Former Taxi driver Zola Tongo is in the hot seat. He's testified that Dewani asked him to recruit hitmen to kill a woman, who he later realised was his wife, Anni Hindocha Dewani.

Dewani has vehemently denied any involvement in an alleged plot to kill her.

Van Zyl has questioned Tongo about contradictions between his testimony and a sworn statement he gave to police in November 2010 regarding a crucial conversation he had with the British businessman

Significantly, it relates to the first time Dewani allegedly asked him to recruit hitmen to carry out a job.

During proceedings on Wednesday, Van Zyl also suggested that Tongo may have entered into a plea bargain to qualify for early parole.

Tongo is currently serving an 18-year prison sentence for his role in Anni's murder and is eligible for parole in nine years.

However, the charges he pleaded guilty to carries a minimum sentence of life behind bars.

Tongo said he came clean to police about what happened because he knew what he did was wrong and because he had been a fool who was misled.

Read Dewani's full plea explanation, here.

For more on the honeymoon murder trial, click here.

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