Shrien Dewani trial: Honeymoon murder suspect captured on CCTV carrying package 'handed to wife's killer'

Zola Tongo told the court Dewani, 34, promised to pay him 5,000 rand for his role in the hijacking and killing of his wife

Click to follow

Video footage of Shrien Dewani allegedly meeting to exchange a package with the hired driver convicted of killing his wife has been played at his murder trial.

Zola Tongo told the court Dewani, 34, promised to pay him 5,000 rand (£285) for his role in the hijacking and killing of the accused's wife on November 13, 2010.

Clips from the Cape Grace Hotel were yesterday played to the Western Cape High Court as Tongo gave evidence for the prosecution.

Dewani, who is accused of murdering his wife Anni Dewani on their honeymoon, has pleaded not guilty to murder, kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances, conspiracy to commit these crimes and defeating the ends of justice.

The bisexual entrepreneur, from Westbury-on-Trym, near Bristol, claims the couple were hijacked as they were driven in Tongo's minibus through Gugulethu township. While he was released unharmed, Mrs Dewani was driven away before being found shot dead in the abandoned minibus the following day.

The prosecution has alleged he conspired with others to stage the hijacking for 15,000 rand (£834).

Tongo yesterday told the court he and Dewani had arranged to meet at the Waterfront on November 16, although Dewani apparently did not arrive.

They agreed over the phone to meet inside the hotel because reporters were waiting outside. Tongo approached the hotel slowly and pretended to look at his phone because he recognised police officers nearby. The footage played to the court showed how Dewani waited in a hotel passage and signalled for Tongo to follow him to a room.

Tongo said: "The gentleman (Dewani) gave me an envelope in a plastic bag, then he went out and left. I took it and hid it in my waist."

He said he went to the bathroom, folded the plastic bag, and opened the envelope to count the money.

"There was only 1,000 rand. I folded the envelope, being angry. I put it into my back pocket. I held the plastic in my hand because it was small. I went out and looked to the right hand side. I went out and left," Tongo said.

The CCTV footage shows Dewani strolling with a plastic bag in his hand in the hotel. He can be seen to walk down the corridor, speaking on the phone, before he stops momentarily, turns and disappears from sight. Tongo can then be seen walking towards the hotel and standing outside, looking at his phone. He enters the hotel eight minutes later as Dewani walked in front of him.


The motion sensitive cameras turn black, while no activity was registered, before one switches back on a minute later to show Dewani and Tongo walking in separate directions. Tongo goes to the bathroom before then leaving the hotel.

The court heard he was later interviewed by investigating officer Captain Paul Hendrickse, and gave a second written statement, that he signed.

He handed himself to police on November 20, 2010, after his lawyer phoned to say officers were looking for him. He was arrested and gave a statement at the Bellville police station,

"I explained to them what happened. I never lied to them. I told them the truth about everything I could remember... because I did not have peace of mind. I knew that the truth would come out," Tongo told the court.

By that state, Tongo knew Mziwamadoda Qwabe and Xolile Mngeni had been arrested. The three conspired to kill Anni Dewani, allegedly at Shrien Dewani's instruction.

Mngeni was handed a life sentence for firing the shot that killed Anni Dewani. Qwabe is serving a 25-year jail term, and Tongo received 18 years' imprisonment. Mngeni died from a brain tumour on October 18.

Tongo was expected to continue giving evidence today.

Additional reporting by Press Association