Hotel receptionist Monde Mbolombo claims he helped hire two gunmen to kill Anni Dewani in a staged carjacking near Cape Town at the request of her husband.
In a further twist, Mbolombo is also suspected of linking Mr Dewani to a previous ‘execution style’ murder in South Africa three years ago.
The victim of that attack is believed to have previously met Mr Dewani’s father.The dramatic developments came as CCTV footage emerged of the newlywed Dewanis in the two hours before the attack.
The first image was taken at 9.33pm on November 13 as they arrived at a restaurant in Strand, a seaside resort 30 miles from Cape Town.
The couple are several feet apart, with Mr Dewani’s hands thrust into his pockets as he strides ahead of his wife.
They were caught on camera leaving the restaurant at 10.24pm.
Around 35 minutes later, Mrs Dewani, 28, was in the hands of her killers after two gunmen ambushed their taxi as they drove through a notorious township.
Her 30-year-old husband and taxi driver Zola Tongo, 31, were released unharmed before Mrs Dewani was murdered with a single gunshot wound.
Tongo has admitted his part in the murder as part of a plea bargain in which he claimed it was a fake hijacking instigated by Mr Dewani who wanted his wife dead.
He said he asked Mbolombo for help finding the gunmen because he knew people in the criminal underworld.
The hotel worker demanded £450 for organising the murder and said the alleged gunmen should be paid £1,000, it is claimed.
Tongo was jailed for 18 years, reduced from 25 years, after doing a deal with prosecutors.
Mbolombo will also be a key state witness in any trial of Mr Dewani, after giving police a statement that implicates the Briton.
South African officials are said have offered him a deal by which he would escape prosecution in return for ‘truthful testimony’.
Five hours before the murder, Mbolombo posted a message on his Facebook page in the local Xhosa language which read: ‘You are plotting against me, but there is bigger trouble coming for you.’At the time he worked at the Protea Hotel Colosseum in the Century City shopping mall on the outskirts of Cape Town, but he left 17 days after the murder.
South African National Commissioner General Bheki Cele said that police are also investigating a link between Mr Dewani and the 2007 murder of Dr Pox Raghavjee in King William’s Town, 650 miles from Cape Town.
At the time, police ruled out robbery as a motive because neither his car nor valuables were taken.
Following the murder of Mrs Dewani, Heather Raghavjee, the doctor’s widow, flew to Cape Town to offer comfort to Mr Dewani.
One of Dr Raghavjee’s sons lives in Bristol, the same city as Mr Dewani’s family home.
Christian Botha, a private investigator hired by the doctor’s family to investigate his killing, said: ‘The family are very excited by this renewed interest in their father’s case but don’t want to make any accusations until it has been fully investigated by the authorities.’
Mr Dewani, who denies any wrongdoing, is currently at home in Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol, on £250,000 bail preparing for an extradition hearing next January.
He must report to police every day.
His spokesman Max Clifford described the prosecution’s tactics as ‘simply ludicrous’.
He added: ‘First of all you have the taxi driver who made statements to the police in which he said one thing.
‘Then he admits that actually he was lying, but the police decide to take him seriously.
‘Now, you have another person who is meant to be involved in a murder and he is implicating Shrien. It’s becoming difficult to keep up with the lies coming out of South Africa.
'If it wasn’t so tragic it would be a farce.’
He also issued a statement from Mrs Raghavjee, in which she described the alleged connection between Mr Dewani and her husband’s murder as ‘horrible totally false accusations’.
The two alleged gunmen, Xolile Mngeni, 25 and Mziwamadoda Qwabe, 23, are due to stand trial next year.
The murder of grandfather Pox Raghavjee in July 2007 baffled detectives at the time.
The respected community doctor was shot through the back of his head in his
MercedesTHE QUESTIONS THAT STILL HANG OVER HIM...
A month after the murder of Anni Dewani on her honeymoon questions continue to mount about her husband’s alleged involvement.
Here TOM KELLY examines the unresolved issues still hanging over Shrien Dewani.
Was Mr Dewani involved in a previous hit?
Police are investigating whether there is any link between Mrs Dewani’s murder and the ‘execution style’ killing of a doctor in South Africa three years ago. on a deserted road in King William’s Town in the Eastern Cape.
Police ruled out robbery, as his mobile phone, watch and £45 in cash were found at the scene.
Detectives have failed to make a breakthrough, despite a £9,000 reward for information, a fortune for many in South Africa.