Zola Tongo

Cape Town - Shrien Dewani put in motion plans to have his wife Anni murdered soon after arriving in Cape Town - this is what chauffeur Zola Tongo, the first accused in the case to be convicted, is likely to testify.

Tongo will probably be called as a State witness if Dewani goes on trial. He said in court documents that Anni “was murdered at the instance of her husband”.

Dewani, who managed to evade extradition from the UK to South Africa for more than three years, is expected to arrive in Cape Town on April 8.

If he does return and is found fit to be tried, a court date will be set. Tongo, who had driven the couple around, entered into a plea and sentencing agreement about a month after Anni was killed and was sentenced to an effective 18 years behind bars.

According to the agreement, Tongo “indicated his willingness to testify in any subsequent criminal prosecution instituted in regard to this conspiracy”.

Dewani is accused of masterminding Anni’s murder, which he allegedly ordered to look like a hijacking gone wrong, in Khayelitsha in 2010.

The couple had been on honeymoon. He has denied involvement in her murder. However, the substantial facts in Tongo’s plea and sentencing agreement paint Dewani as the one who initiated the plan to have her killed.

Tongo said on November 12, 2010, he had been at Cape Town International Airport when Dewani asked him to take the couple to the Cape Grace Hotel.

“After we arrived, Shrien Dewani approached me alone and asked me if I knew anyone that could ‘have a client of his taken off the scene’.

“After some discussion I understood that he wanted someone, a woman, killed,” Tongo said.

Tongo claimed Dewani was willing to pay R15 000 for the hit.

His plea and sentencing agreement said on the next day Dewani had told Tongo how he wanted the killing to happen - they agreed others would be enlisted to help in simulating a hijacking. He said an agitated Dewani had told him “he wanted the job done that night”.

Anni’s body, with a bullet wound to the neck, was found in an abandoned car the next morning.

In the days leading up to murder-accused Shrien Dewani’s likely extradition to Cape Town in about two weeks, the Cape Times will run a number of stories on the case that has spanned more than three years, run in courts in two countries and made international headlines. Dewani is accused of having orchestrated his wife Anni’s killing, a crime authorities want him to face trial for.

Cape Times