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Honeymoon husband 'wanted hitman'

Businessman Shrien Dewani sought a hitman to murder his new wife on their honeymoon, a court in South Africa has heard.

Dewani, 31, denies any involvement in the death of Anni Dewani, who was shot dead in a taxi in Cape Town last November in an apparent car-jacking.

Wynberg Regional Court in Cape Town was told that Dewani, from Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol, approached an airport shuttle service operator to "procure a hit man to have a woman killed".

He is said to have made the request almost immediately after arriving at the Cape Grace Hotel last November with his 28-year-old wife. The allegation formed part of an indictment handed to two other men accused of killing Mrs Dewani during the court hearing.

Xolile Wellington Mngeni and Mziwamadoda Lennox Qwabe have appeared at Wynberg Regional Court in Cape Town to face charges of murder, kidnapping and aggravated robbery.

The two men, who are also accused of illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, will face trial at Western Cape High Court next year.

Mngeni, who has a malignant brain tumour, was helped into the dock by his co-accused before they were committed for trial. During their last hearing, from which Mngeni was absent, the court undertook to decide by Tuesday whether to abandon the charges against him because of his condition but there was no mention of his tumour in court.

Mrs Dewani was shot dead in an apparent car-jacking in the impoverished Gugulethu township on the outskirts of Cape Town last November. Her husband and cab driver Zola Tongo were ejected from the vehicle.

Dewani was later accused of ordering the attack. He was implicated by Tongo, 31, who claimed in a plea bargain that Dewani had offered him 15,000 rand (£1,400) for the killing.

Last month a judge ruled Dewani could be extradited to South Africa to stand trial. The cab driver, from Bothasig, has been sentenced to 18 years in jail for murder, kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances and perverting the course of justice.

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