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Judge to rule on Dewani acquittal on 8 December

The prosecution applied for his discharge and acquittal in terms of section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Act.

FILE: British businessman Shrien Dewani appears in the Western Cape High Court on 6 October 2014. Picture: Sapa.

CAPE TOWN - British businessman Shrien Dewani will know in just under two weeks whether or not he will be a free man.

His lawyers have applied for his discharge and acquittal in terms of section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Act after the state closed its case.

The Briton has been on trial in the Western Cape High Court for allegedly ordering a hit on his wife, Anni Hindocha Dewani, during the couple's honeymoon in Cape Town in November 2010.

The British businessman was extradited to South Africa in April to stand trial for the alleged orchestration of his wife's murder.

Three South Africans have already been convicted for their parts in the crime, one of whom died in October following a battle with cancer.

The British businessman has been on trial in the Western Cape High Court since early October.

It's going to be an anxious wait but Judge Jeanette Traverso said she wanted to take time before delivering her ruling on 8 December.

Today, she heard argument from the state on why the discharge application should be dismissed.

But soon after prosecutor Adrian Mopp began laying out the state's case, Traverso asked him a barrage of questions, requesting he explain apparent holes in the state's case.

Yesterday, Dewani's lawyer said the state's entire case rests on the evidence of a completely unreliable witness, former taxi driver Zola Tongo.

'PLOT TO KILL ANNI DEWANI EXECUTED BY AMATEUR MEN'

The prosecution in the honeymoon murder trial said the plot to kill Anni was executed by amateur men who were drawn to crime by the lure of money.

Mopp said the local men involved in the conspiracy to kill Anni were amateur criminals.

In the state's heads of argument, the prosecution said this explains why there were no detailed discussions about how and when the murder should take place.

Tongo was continuously late and one of the hitmen couldn't even arrange transport to get to the agreed upon location where the hijacking was due to take place.

Mopp told the court the whole thing would have been comical if it did not end so tragically.

He has been trying to explain what's been described by the defence as a "highly improbable" version of events.

Soon after Mopp began laying out the state's case, Traverso asked him a range of questions, including why Dewani, who had never been to the country before, would go along with the 'loose arrangements' that made up the alleged plot to kill Anni.

She also asked him why Dewani's alleged co-conspirators had robbed him of an additional R4,000 if he was involved in the plot.

To read the full heads of arguments, click here.

For more on the honeymoon murder trial, click here.

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