London, Dec 9(ANI): Brit-Indian business tycoon Shrien Dewani, accused of plotting the 'assassination' of his wife on their honeymoon, had tried to orchestrate a similar hit on a previous visit to South Africa, a London court has heard.
According to the Daily Mail, the astonishing claim was made in Cape Town by taxi driver Zola Tongo, who alleges that he was hired by Shrien to organise his wife Anni Dewani's death.
Tongo was convinced that Shrien had earlier 'arranged for someone to be killed in a fake hijacking', Westminster Magistrates' Court was told.
As part of a plea bargain, the driver told police that he had arranged the killing at Shrien's instigation.
"He (Tongo) said he thought this man had been in South Africa before and done something like this before. He said the man said he had previously arranged for someone to be killed in a fake hijacking in South Africa," barrister Ben Watson, representing the South African authorities, told the court.
"From the outset investigators were puzzled by the events and also suspicious of the accounts supplied by Shrien and Tongo. Firstly they considered it strange the couple did not make use of the airport to hotel shuttle service to the 5-star Cape Grace where they were staying. They were suspicious that neither of the two men were injured while the victim had been brutally killed," Watson added
The court also heard that Shrien withdrew 800 pounds from a Cape Town cashpoint on the eve of Anni's murder last month.
Together with 200 pounds he withdrew a few days earlier, it added up to 1,000 pounds (10,000 rand) used to 'pay for the assassination of his wife', the court was told.
The 30-year-old faces extradition to South Africa after being charged with conspiracy to murder.
He was granted bail on Wednesday on condition that his family provide a 250,000 pound surety and he is electronically tagged.
Shrien and Anni were two weeks into their Cape Town honeymoon when the taxi they were in was hijacked in Khayelitsha township by two men armed with guns on November 13.
They ordered the driver of the taxi to get out and then took off with the car and the couple.
Shrien was later released, but the gunmen took off with Anni, who was later found inside the car shot dead.
Three men have since been detained in connection with Anni's murder.
Taxi driver Zola Tongo, 25-year-old suspect Mziwamadoda Qwabe, and another 23-year-old man Xolile Mngeni. (ANI)