Diego Novella claims he never behaved violently when intoxicated

Cape Town - The Guatemalan man accused of murdering US marketing executive Gabriela Kabrins Alban told the Western Cape High Court on Tuesday that he has never acted aggressively while under the influence of drugs.

Last year the court heard that Diego Novella had taken cannabis oil and sceletium, a mood enhancing herb, before Alban's murder on June 29, 2015 at a Camps Bay hotel.

"I have never behaved violently when using cannabis," Novella told the court.

Novella testified that both he and Alban smoked dagga regularly while in Guatemala City, before their visit to South Africa.

The couple smoked dagga and snorted the sceletium through a rolled-up money bill the night before her death, according to Novella.

He also clarified a rumour about his behaviour the day before Alban's body was discovered.

"There are rumours that I tortured Gaby, but this is not true," said Novella.

"I left her in the hotel so she could have called security or the police."

A post-mortem report stated that her body had "signs of blunt force trauma as indicated by multiple bruises on the body specifically, distributed on the neck, the upper and lower limbs".

Alban's mother Doris Weitz sat in the public gallery and dabbed at her eyes while caressing a framed photograph of her daughter.

The trial continues on Wednesday.