Lawyer: Dewani gave Tongo a thank you card

2014-11-04 22:56
Shrien Dewani in court. (AP)

Shrien Dewani in court. (AP)

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Cape Town - It was "nonsense" that British businessman Shrien Dewani gave his South African taxi driver R1000 and a card out of pity in 2010, the Western Cape High Court heard on Tuesday.

During cross-examination in Dewani's trial, shuttle taxi driver Zola Tongo told defence lawyer Francois van Zyl that there was only R1000 in the envelope.

"It is nonsense and it is a lie that the accused person bought me a thank you card," Tongo said in Xhosa.

He said he was angry at the time because Dewani had allegedly agreed to pay him R5 000 for his role in killing his wife Anni and he had been short-changed.

However, he did not confront or phone Dewani after the package with the envelope inside was handed over in a meeting between the pair at the Cape Grace Hotel on 16 November 2010.

Dewani is on trial for allegedly plotting with Tongo and others to kill his wife Anni while they were on honeymoon on Cape Town.

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

Dewani claims the couple were hijacked as Tongo was driving them through Gugulethu in his minibus on Saturday, 13 November. 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, for which he paid R15 000.

Tongo said Dewani not only short-changed him for the murder, but also owed him R1 700 for the trip that evening and a trip to a money exchange store in town.

Van Zyl put it to the witness that his client had bought cards of "African design" at the V&A Waterfront just before he met Tongo that day.

He had felt sorry for the taxi driver and decided to give him a card and 10 R100 notes. Tongo said this was not so.

Van Zyl said they had footage that showed Dewani leaving a stationery shop with a bag in his hand.

"Is the truth not that you didn't want to tell the police that you received a thank you card with the R1 000 because that would have flown in the face of your whole story?" the lawyer asked.

Tongo said he would have remembered the card.

"If the accused person had got me wine or chocolate, even if he had got me any other gift, I would have mentioned it."

Tongo has been on the stand since last week. His cross-examination is expected to resume on Wednesday.

Read more on:    anni hindocha  |  shrien dewani  |  cape town  |  dewani trial

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