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State to convince court that Dewani must not be acquitted

The state will have an opportunity to convince the court that Dewani has a case to answer to.

FILE: Shrien Dewani leaves the Western Cape High Court on 29 October 2014. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The prosecution in Shrien Dewani's murder trial will get the opportunity today to try and convince Judge Jeanette Traverso that the British businessman does have a case to answer to.

On Monday, the Briton's defence spelled out reasons why the Western Cape High Court should discharge and acquit him of murder.

Dewani is accused of ordering a hit on his wife, Anni Hindocha Dewani, during the couple's honeymoon in Cape Town four years ago.

During proceeding's yesterday, Dewani's lawyer Francois van Zyl said there is no credible evidence against his client.

Van Zyl spent all of Monday trying to convince the court that various testimonies against his client held no weight and should not be relied on.

He was arguing for his client's discharge in terms of section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Act.

Van Zyl spent most of his time picking apart the evidence of the state's star witness, former taxi driver Zola Tongo, who claims he was hired by Dewani to recruit hit men.

He said the evidence of Tongo is inherently not worth the paper it's written on and Tongo's testimony is highly improbable and riddled with contradictions on virtually every material aspect.

The attorney said Tongo twisted his evidence to try and fit it in with CCTV footage which was used by the state in a bit to bolster its case against Dewani.

Tongo is the man responsible for organising the alleged staged hijacking in which Anni was killed and has blamed the British businessman for being the alleged mastermind behind the murder.

Tongo and hitmen, Mziwamadoda Qwabe and the late Xolile Mngeni were jailed for their role in Anni's murder.

Early on in the trial, which began in October, the prosecution tried to lead evidence that Dewani is gay, claiming it would provide context for a motive, but was twice denied permission to do so by judge Traverso.

The prosecution will also be given a chance to respond to Van Zyl's argument.

Dewani has pleaded not guilty to charges including kidnapping, murder and defeating the ends of justice.

To read the full heads of arguments, click here.