South Africa 29.10.2014 11:45 am

Tongo knew nothing about helicopter trip, Dewani court hears

FILE PICTURE: Ami Denborg, sister of Anni Dewani, arrives for the trial of British businessman Shrien Dewani at the Western Cape High Court. Picture: EPA

FILE PICTURE: Ami Denborg, sister of Anni Dewani, arrives for the trial of British businessman Shrien Dewani at the Western Cape High Court. Picture: EPA

Convicted shuttle taxi driver Zola Tongo knew nothing about a surprise helicopter trip his client Shrien Dewani wanted to organise for his wife Anni, the Western Cape High Court heard on Wednesd

Tongo, 34, is serving 18 years in prison for his role in Anni’s death and was testifying as the State’s 12th witness during Dewani’s trial.

Prosecutor Shareen Riley asked him if Dewani ever chatted to him about the helicopter trip.

Tongo said no.

Riley checked that this conversation did not take place at any stage.

“He never, ever, mentioned something like that, my lady,” Tongo replied.

Dewani is accused of the murder of his wife during their honeymoon in Cape Town in November 2010. He has pleaded not guilty to the five counts against him, maintaining that the couple were the victims of a hijacking on November 13, 2010.

The State alleges that he conspired with others to stage the hijacking in return for R15,000.

Anni’s body was found in the abandoned shuttle taxi in Khayelitsha the following day.

In his plea explanation, Dewani said he had negotiated with Tongo to organise a helicopter trip for R15,000.

On Tuesday, Tongo testified that Dewani had promised to pay him R5000 for his role in Anni’s killing. The hitmen would receive R15,000.

However, he said he only received R1000 in an envelope after the hijacking.

Riley asked Tongo on Wednesday when he realised that the person he helped to kill was Dewani’s wife.

“Sunday morning. From the detectives, my lady.”

– Sapa

 

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