South Africa 3.11.2014 01:09 pm

Tongo asked about R5000 commission

FILE PICTURE: British businessman Shrien Dewani appears in the Western Cape High Court on Monday, 6 October 2014. He pleaded not guilty to killing his wife Anni in Cape Town in 2010. Apart from murder Dewani is also charged with kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances, and conspiracy to commit these crimes. He is also charged with defeating the ends of justice. Picture: Nardus Engelbrecht/SAPA/Pool

FILE PICTURE: British businessman Shrien Dewani appears in the Western Cape High Court on Monday, 6 October 2014. He pleaded not guilty to killing his wife Anni in Cape Town in 2010. Apart from murder Dewani is also charged with kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances, and conspiracy to commit these crimes. He is also charged with defeating the ends of justice. Picture: Nardus Engelbrecht/SAPA/Pool

It was strange that a murder convicted shuttle taxi driver did not follow up with Shrien Dewani when he would get his commission for killing the British businessman’s wife, the Western Cape High Court heard on Monday.

Francois van Zyl, for Dewani, had tried to find out what arrangements Zola Tongo allegedly made with his client regarding the R5000 payment for Anni Dewani’s murder on Saturday, November 13, 2010.

Dewani is on trial for allegedly masterminding the murder while the couple were on honeymoon in Cape Town in 2010.

He has pleaded not guilty to charges including murder, maintaining they were the victims of a hijacking in Tongo’s shuttle taxi.

Tongo, 34, who is serving an 18-year jail term, is the State’s 12th witness. He said during cross-examination that he and Dewani spoke about his commission the day the couple landed in Cape Town, and was told the murder needed to happen the next day.

He said he could not remember discussing how he would be paid, which Van Zyl found strange because Tongo had described the payment as important. He did not know for how long Dewani was in the country.

“For all you knew, he could have left Cape Town on Sunday morning. You made no arrangements with him as to when and how you would be paid,” Van Zyl said.

After more questions, it was revealed Tongo did not ask about the commission when he and Dewani were sitting together at the Cape Grace Hotel on Sunday morning, hours before Anni’s boy was found. Tongo said he did not ask because the hotel was busy.

Van Zyl asked if he tried to get in contact with Dewani before he left the country the following Tuesday. Tongo said he did not.

Van Zyl said it was only through coincidence that the pair spoke, when Tongo phoned a police officer to complain about journalists bothering him.

Tongo did not realise Dewani was in the officer’s company. Dewani asked the officer if he could speak to Tongo over the phone.

Asked again why Tongo did not try to get hold of Dewani he eventually said he did not have his contact number.

When it was pointed out to him that nothing prevented him from phoning Dewani’s hotel Tongo said he never thought about that.

The State alleges that Dewani conspired with others to stage the hijacking in return for R15,000. Anni Dewani’s body was found in Tongo’s abandoned shuttle taxi in Khayelitsha on Sunday, November 14, 2010.

Middleman Monde Mbolombo, a hotel receptionist, was granted immunity from prosecution in exchange for testifying against his accomplices.

Xolile Mngeni was serving life in jail for firing the shot that killed Anni, but died in prison from a brain tumour on October 18.

Mziwamadoda Qwabe is serving a 25-year jail term.

– Sapa

 

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