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Dewani trial: Defence might play 'discharge application' card

The defence could bring a 'discharge application' which might see Shrien Dewani acquitted.

Shrien Dewani's legal team arriving at the Western Cape High Court on 3 November ahead of his murder trial. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - As Shrien Dewani's lawyer continues to poke holes in the state's case against him, questions are being asked whether the British businessman's defence will bring an application to have him acquitted.

The defence could bring an application in terms of Section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Act to ask the court to discharge Dewani.

The British businessman is accused of orchestrating his wife Anni's murder during their honeymoon to Cape Town in November 2010.

But apparent weaknesses in the state's case have emerged during cross-examination of the prosecution's key witness Zola Tongo over the past few days.

Criminal lawyer, William Booth says a so called 'discharge application' could be brought when the state closes its case.

"The defence will have to consider whether the evidence is so poor presented by the state that they can convince the judge that the client should be acquitted without having to move on to the next stage, which is the defense's case."

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

Tongo said the men expected Dewani to leave the payment 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.

It's also unclear whether Dewani will take the stand in his own defence.