Shrien Dewani
Shrien Dewani denies plotting to have his wife killed in South Africa Getty

The British man accused of planning the murder of his wife on their honeymoon in South Africa boasted about organising a previous killing to make it look like a car-jacking gone wrong, a court has heard.

Shrien Dewani is accused of describing how he successfully ordered a family friend to be killed in a bid to persuade a taxi driver to help murder his wife, Anni.

The Western Cape High Court heard that the businessman told Zola Tongo that it would be easy to stage a fake car-jacking as a cover for the killing as he had done something similar three years ago.

The claim was made by a "middleman" Monde Mbolombo, who recruited two men to help with the killing of Anni Dewani in the outskirts of Cape Town in 2010.

Dewani was previously under suspicion of being involved in the 2007 murder of Dr Pox Raghavejee, but was cleared of any involvement. Like Anni, Raghavejee was also killed in a suspected car-jacking gone wrong. It is believed the car-jacking was staged as a cover for the unsolved murder as the car he was ambushed in was never stolen, even after he was killed.

Without giving names, Mbolombo described how Dewani persuaded Tongo to be a part of the group to kill his wife by saying how he had got away with it before.

He told the Court: "He [Dewani] went on further to say [to Tongo] that it was not the first time he did this. He did this before in South Africa."

While Dewani's lawyers are attempting to argue that Mbolombo is an unreliable witness – he admitted lying to police in the past, reported the Daily Mail – this aspect of this story has remained constant throughout the entire four-year investigation.

In a statement to police in 2010 just nine days after Anni's death, Mbolombo told police: "He [Tongo] also said he got the impression this man had been in South Africa before and also had done something like this before, as he mentioned that he wanted the murder to look like any hijacking. He said that the man had previously arranged for somebody to be killed in a 'fake hijacking' in South Africa."

Dewani denies the charges of murder, kidnap, robbery, conspiracy to commit the crimes and defeating the ends of justice.

Xolile Mngeni and Mziwamadoda Qwabe were both given life sentences after admitting murdering Anni Dewani, while Tongo was given an 18-year jail sentence for his part in the killing.

The trial continues.