Dewaniâ??s lawyer said British pounds were handed over, not US dollars.
Maria Bravetti, owner of the Golden Touch currency exchange store in central Cape Town, was called as the State’s sixth witness in Dewani’s trial in the Western Cape High Court.
She was warned that any evidence she gave could incriminate her and that she may be prosecuted if she did not answer truthfully.
Dewani is accused of masterminding the murder of his wife Anni during their honeymoon in Cape Town on November 13, 2010 and offering local men R15,000 to carry out the hit.
Mngeni & Qwabe exchanged currency
Xolile Mngeni is serving life in jail for pulling the trigger, while Mziwamadoda Qwabe is serving a 25-year jail term, and shuttle taxi driver Zola Tongo 18 years.
Dewani has pleaded not guilty to the five counts against him, maintaining that the couple were the victims of a hijacking.
Prosecutor Adrian Mopp said it was not disputed that Dewani and Tongo visited Bravetti’s store mid-morning on November 13, 2010 to perform a transaction.
He asked her what currency Dewani handed over to her to exchange.
Bravetti replied: “American dollars – 1500 dollars”.
She said she gave him R10,200 in exchange and did not keep a record of the transaction.
While the transaction was happening, Tongo looked at jewellery and spoke to other staff
During cross-examination, Francois van Zyl, for Dewani, asked whether she had remembered receiving dollars or whether this information had come from police.
Bravetti replied that she remembered it was dollars.
He asked whether she had the local currency ready and she replied that she sold the dollars to another dealer called Andre, who then gave her rands.
She said her assistant Thelma took the dollars to him and brought the money back.
Van Zyl says that Thelma made a statement to police in which she said Bravetti called her to the back of the shop and gave her gold to give to another dealer.
She said in the statement that the dealer gave her R10,000 cash and she took the money to Bravetti.
The witness shook her head and said Thelma was confused.
She added that gold had to be sold early in the morning or not at all. She also remembered quoting Dewani a rate of R6.80 to the dollar.
â??Plus/minusâ? is just an expression
Van Zyl asked why Bravetti’s statement said she handed over plus/minus R10,200 when she had testified that she handed over exactly that amount.
Bravetti replied that “plus/minus” was just an expression she often used.
“The accused my client, drew some 7000 pounds from his personal account in the United Kingdom before he came to South Africa for his honeymoon,” Van Zyl said.
He said Dewani exchanged 200 pounds at OR Tambo airport in Johannesburg and a further 800 pounds at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town.
“He will say he never had any dollars with him. He will say he came with pounds.”
The witness was excused from the stand.