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Dewani organised hit before: witness

(File picture) Shrien Dewani.

(File picture) Shrien Dewani.

Published Aug 15, 2012

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Cape Town - A person believed to be Shrien Dewani had previously organised a hit to look like a hijacking, the Western Cape High Court heard on Wednesday.

A witness on the stand said he found this out when he spoke to shuttle driver Zola Tongo on November 12, 2010, just a day before honeymooner, Anni Dewani, 23, was killed.

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Tongo and the witness sat in his silver VW Sharan, where Tongo asked him whether he knew of a hitman, upon request from a foreign man.

“Along the way, I asked him why he was looking for a hitman...He mentioned to me that there is a lady who needs to be killed. But he's not sure because there's two ladies and he's not sure which one to kill,” the witness said.

“He said this gentleman was not from here and he had done this before... pretend as if this person was going to be hijacked when actually the person was killed.”

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The “gentleman's” name was never revealed.

The witness was a hotel worker, who knew Tongo because the hotel often outsourced airport trips or tours to Tongo's shuttle company.

Judge Robert Henney ordered that his name and identity be withheld, for fear of harm or intimidation.

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Anni Dewani was shot in an apparent car hijacking while on honeymoon with her husband Shrien in Cape Town in November 2010.

According to media reports at the time, former national police commissioner Bheki Cele had said the police were probing a link between the 2007 killing of an Eastern Cape doctor and Dewani's murder.

Pox Raghavjee was found shot dead in his car in Bhisho, a small town in the Eastern Cape region, but nothing was stolen from him.

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The Sunday Times reported that his widow Heather Raghavjee, who travelled to Cape Town to comfort Shrien after the murder of his wife, said allegations of a link between the two killings were baseless.

Tongo, in a plea bargain confession, similarly alleged that Dewani had previously arranged for someone to be killed in a fake hijacking in South Africa.

He was handed an effective 18-year sentence for his role in the plot.

Earlier on Wednesday, Xolile Mngeni pleaded not guilty to kidnapping, robbing and killing Dewani, as well as illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.

He refused to make any formal admissions, meaning the State would have to prove each fact in its case.

The trial continues. - Sapa

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