Key detail in Dewani murder seemingly left to chance

Zola Tongo testified he trusted Dewani would follow through on his word regarding payment for the killing.

Zola Tongo (C) covers his face as he lead up from the holding cells to attend a session at the Cape Town High Court, Cape Town, South 07 December 2010. EPA/NIC BOTHMA.

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape High Court has heard a key detail that formed part of an alleged plot to kill Anni Hindocha Dewani was seemingly left to chance.

Zola Tongo, the state's star witness in Shrien Dewani's murder trial, testified today that he trusted the Briton would follow through on his word regarding payment for the contract killing.

Dewani is accused of orchestrating his wife Anni's murder during their honeymoon in Cape Town in November 2010.

The former taxi driver recruited hitmen to kill Anni, allegedly at Dewani's behest but a key detail wasn't discussed.

Tongo said they expected Dewani to leave the hit money inside the cubbyhole of Tongo's Volkswagen Sharan.

But he admitted Dewani wasn't aware of this before being driven to the spot where the hijacking was supposed to take place at around 8pm on 13 November 2010.

When asked whether he knew if the murder accused had the money on him, Tongo said he trusted the Briton and assumed he would follow through on his word.

In the end, the hijackers didn't arrive at the agreed upon location on time so the alleged hit took place later than initially planned.

Much of Tongo's evidence today can be summed up in three words: "I can't remember".

Defence counsel Franscois van Zyl kept probing him about who he had agreed with as to where the money, which was to be paid for the alleged hit on Anni was to be left in his taxi after she was killed.

Tongo started giving evidence last week.

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

Video: Tongo's testimony under scrutiny.

The former taxi driver and two other men, Mziwamadoda Qwabe and Xolile Mngeni, were sentenced for their role in killing Anni four years ago.

Mngeni died at Goodwood Prison about two weeks ago after a battle with cancer.

He was buried in Khayelitsha on Saturday.

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.