Tongo probed on ‘mystery’ statement

FILE PICTURE: Zola Tongo (C). Picture: AFP

FILE PICTURE: Zola Tongo (C). Picture: AFP

One of Anni Dewani’s killers, shuttle taxi driver Zola Tongo, seemed confused on Wednesday when questioned on when in 2010 he gave a written statement to police.

Cross-examined during Shrien Dewani’s trial on a murder charge in the Western Cape High Court on Wednesday, Tongo, 34, said he made a statement on November 20, 2010, if his memory served him well.

He is serving an 18-year jail term for his role in Dewani’s murder.

During his evidence-in-chief on Tuesday he said he gave a written statement when he handed himself to police on November 20, 2010.

Investigating officer Paul Hendrickse typed the statement.

Tongo said there was no mention at the time of a plea bargain.

Francois van Zyl, for Dewani, asked whether he made another statement as per the conditions of the plea bargain he eventually entered into. Tongo said he did not remember.

Van Zyl said Tongo’s first statement was only made on November 26 that year and checked it was his signature. Tongo confirmed it was his signature and that he made the statement.

Van Zyl said he had not received the November 20 statement Tongo was referring to.

“Either this is the statement that you made at that time or there is another one before the plea agreement which you describe. Can you assist?”

Tongo replied:”There is no other such statement that I can remember.”

Van Zyl replied his testimony was therefore incorrect.

Dewani is accused of the murder of his wife during their honeymoon in Cape Town in November 2010. He has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances, conspiracy to commit these crimes and defeating the ends of justice.

Dewani claims the couple were hijacked as they were being driven through Gugulethu in a minibus on Saturday, November 13, 2010. He was released unharmed and Anni driven away. She was found shot dead in the abandoned minibus in Khayelitsha the next morning.

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


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