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Slain Swede's husband implicated in plot

AFP/The Local · 7 Dec 2010, 15:46

Published: 07 Dec 2010 11:41 GMT+01:00
Updated: 07 Dec 2010 15:46 GMT+01:00

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Anni Dewani, a 28-year-old native of Mariestad in central Sweden, was shot dead after the taxi in which she was travelling with her husband Shrien Dewani, was hijacked on the outskirts of Cape Town on November 13, just weeks after their marriage.

Her body was later found in an impoverished township neighbourhood.

Dewani, who returned to Britain days after the incident in which he was unharmed, has denied any involvement.

Three men were originally charged with the murder but as part of a plea bargain the High Court in Cape Town heard one of the accused allege that the victim's husband had ordered the killing.

"The deceased was murdered at the instance of her husband," Western Cape director of public prosecutions Rodney de Kock told Judge President John Hlophe in court, national news agency SAPA reported.

A judicial spokesman refused to say if Dewani, who accompanied his wife's body back to Britain, would be charged.

The claim that the husband plotted the murder was made by Zola Tongo, the driver of the taxi in which the couple had been travelling in Cape Town.

Tongo was sentenced to 18 years in jail on Tuesday after pleading guilty to murder and aggravated robbery.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Eric Ntabazalila told AFP that Tongo had given evidence that he was approached by the British businessman and promised 15,000 rand ($2,175) "to remove someone from the scene."

"After some discussion with him I understood that he wanted someone, a woman, killed," said Tongo in a sworn statement.

He enlisted two accomplices to conduct the murder, according to Ntabazalila who would not discuss with reporters if the murdered bride's husband would face charges.

"That is part of a different investigation. I cannot comment on that, police would have to to act on that," Ntabazalila said.

Tongo's plea bargain documents reveal that the hijacking was in fact part of a plan devised together with Dewani to conceal the murder.

"Threatening me and Shrien Dewani with a firearm was a mere pretence of force...." he said.

"The hijackers had thereafter driven off with the deceased and Shrien Dewani, with Shrien Dewani's consent, in accordance with the pretence of force, and not in furtherance of kidnapping and robbing him."

The two other men accused of Dewani's killing are due to face trial on February 25.

Prior to the killing, the honeymooners had dined in a seaside restaurant in a town outside Cape Town and were on their way back to the city when Anni Dewani asked to see township nightlife, reports said.

The murdered bride was also robbed of a Giorgio Armani wristwatch, a white gold and diamond bracelet, a handbag and a Blackberry phone, according to the charge sheet.

Tongo told the court he carefully went through the hijacking and murder details with Dewani, even taking him to a blackmarket foreign exchange dealer in Cape Town to arrange payment and avoid a bank audit trail.

Story continues below…

"The agreement was that after the hijacking of the vehicle, Shrien Dewani and I would be ejected from the vehicle unharmed...the deceased would be kidnapped and robbed, before she was murdered."

Vinodkumar Hindocha, the father of the murdered bride had travelled from Sweden to attend the case. He said he was her next-of-kin as the couple had only been married in a traditional Hindu ceremony.

He fought back tears in the courtroom, according to South African media reports.

"We have been treated well and wish all involved to end this case. It is torture for us," Hindocha said on the steps of the court, according to the Mail & Guardian news website.

Since returning to Britain, Shrien Dewani has enlisted the help of a renowned publicist, Max Clifford.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

11:55 December 7, 2010 by Rishonim
But of course he is implicated. But my question is why marry the poor girl and then bump her off on her honeymoon?
12:24 December 7, 2010 by stmanpule
its ridiculous, how could he have done such a thing to his newly wedded wife. such is life anyway
12:39 December 7, 2010 by TheOriginalBlackMan
I told you so!

I knew there was no way in the world that this scoundrel could have gotten away from these bandits and not been killed himself. Poor women, selected what a man had rather than what a man is (money over quality).

Also, to all you Afrian haters, South Africa is no more dangerous than any other large city in the world. Meaning that you must always keep your eyes open and your ears pricked. The husband (slime ball) truly thought he would get away "Scot free". Nevertheless, I still say shame to the African men that participated in this crime. You shame righteous African man and women everywhere.
12:39 December 7, 2010 by bolababu
Probably just remembered that he forgot to make her sign a pre-nup. I admit that this thought of he being involved crossed my mind many times especially since she wasn't raped, most probably also didn't fight back when they tried to rob her. They had absolutely no reason to shoot her but this.
13:47 December 7, 2010 by Ranjit T Edward
This story is rather misleading when compared with the BBC report. It was the taxi driver Zola Tongo who has made these allegations, and the SA police have not even sort to speak to the husband as yet.

If this turns out to be true, how disgustingly shameful on him...
14:12 December 7, 2010 by kmsone
I don't think SA is more problematic then the City of Malmö in sweden
14:22 December 7, 2010 by Syftfel
It is reassuring to know that in South Africa they still practice capital punishment by hanging. Perhaps, for a change, we'll see the justice that neither Sweden nor Britain could mete out.
14:30 December 7, 2010 by VicTaulic
Cairo is the safest major city in the world. Look it up.
14:33 December 7, 2010 by jbat
As long as this man is white and Brits.. friend of Yanks... he is always innocent no matter what others claim... the color of this people skin and their nationality make them sacred in their own view... what a sh1iitttooo people hahahaha
16:39 December 7, 2010 by JoJo123
I am a South African who left South Africa 4 years ago, the biggest motivator being the fact that it is quite a dnagerous place to live in. It is not to say that something would have happened to me (and a few bad things have- nothing major though), but I was so fed up with having to live my life feeling on edge, looking over my shoulder all the time, living in fear (which you get used to) and not being able to enjoy the simpler things in life - like taking a late night walk wherever you wish.

However, leaving is a choice I made... and others choose to stay and live there happily. It is a beautiful country and I would love to be able to move back one day, however, I don't think this will be possible.

Regarding this murder, things like this happen in South Africa on a daily basis (as they do in many other countries) I do believe the husband did it. A typical murder case in South Africa - the husband would've been found dead too (or a least almost dead). I bet the husband planned the whole trip to South Africa because he could make it look like a robbery gone bad so easily over there. If it happened here... people would instantly know it was him.

I want to end off by saying that South Africa is an amazing, gorgeous place and don't ever doubt going (if you plan to) because you are scared that something might happen. Something could happen to you anywhere!

Just be smart about it, don't go into townships, be aware of your surroundings, keep your car doors locked as a precaution... get a travel guide if you wish. You will love it there and it will be one of the most beautiful places you have ever visited!
19:30 December 7, 2010 by bolababu

Capital purnishment? ..not in South Africa, unfortunately.
20:55 December 7, 2010 by volvoman9
@JoJo 123, Not to demean your comments about SA but after what you say about it and the articles I have read concerning this country why would anyone want to take the chance? With so many beautiful places on earth how could one consider it pleasurable to vacation under these circumstances. If SA becomes the pariah it should then the locals will be forced to rid themselves of these parasitic criminals.

It never ceases to astound me the volume of stories of vacationers who put themselves in harms way to see some exotic local. These idiots are perpetuating the problem. Squeeze the money off and force governments to be held accountable. This type of crime has become a growth industry because we allow it to.
23:01 December 7, 2010 by asian123
indian bride killing culture goes international. once google it.

this indian RICH guy killed a his newly married wife and employed a costly lawyer in the britan.
23:37 December 7, 2010 by americanska
jbat - you are retarded. they are both the same color, one is a swedish citizen and one is a british citizen. but you go again and blame the US.

If you hate the west so much maybe you should go back to your lawless, cave dwelling homeboys.
21:59 December 8, 2010 by Alberto22
I ask myself if I would have agreed to take my beautiful (she was) wife to the townships at all? Also wearing Armani and jewelry! She was probably innocent and a bit naive but the creep fed on her naivete. It looks strange further that he did not fight hard in this case but somehow just got off the taxi. If he didn't kill her, then he is still responsible for being a coward! I wonder if he had her insured for some big amount prior?
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