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SWEDISH HONEYMOONER SLAYING

SOUTH AFRICA

‘Anni Dewani was not raped’: forensic expert

Swedish newlywed Anni Dewani was not raped or sexually assaulted before she was gunned down at close range while honeymooning in South Africa, a court heard Wednesday.

'Anni Dewani was not raped': forensic expert

Pathologist Janette Verster told the High Court in Cape Town that fingerprints were found on Dewani’s left leg but there was no evidence that the 28-year-old had been sexually abused.

“There was no evidence of injury (to the genital area) internally and externally. There was nothing microscopically I could find,” Verster said, adding Dewani’s underwear was still intact and had not been disrupted.

Dewani was killed by a single gunshot while travelling in the back of the car with her British husband Shrien Dewani in November 2010.

The court is trying a local man Xolile Mngeni as the alleged gunman, but is also fighting to extradite Shrien in connection with the case.

Mngeni has denied charges of murder, kidnapping, robbery and illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Two local men already jailed over the killing and have blamed Shrien for masterminding a paid hit on his wife.

The Swedish tourist was found with her hands tucked under her chin, on her right side on the back seat of the car belonging to taxi driver Zola Tongo, who is serving 18 years for his role in her death.

Dewani had taken a defensive pose before the gun was fired at a “very close range”, likely five to 10 centimetres away, Verster said.

The bullet entered and exited her left hand and grazed her chest before entering her neck.

The shot severed two vascular veins and hit the spinal cord before exiting her back, the Sapa news agency reported.

Tongo and co-accused Mziwamadoda Qwabe — who is serving 25 years — named Mngeni as the gunman.

Both opted for plea bargains, saying Dewani had paid to have his wife killed in a fake hijacking.

Britain approved Dewani’s extradition but the London High Court shelved the process in March, citing health grounds. The Briton has claimed no wrongdoing.

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H&M

Coming soon: an H&M store in South Africa

Swedish cheap'n'chic fashion giant H&M will open its first store in South Africa in 2015, its first foray into sub-Saharan Africa, the company announced on Thursday.

Coming soon: an H&M store in South Africa

H&M said it had signed a contract for a store in Johannesburg, but it was also looking into opening in Cape Town as well and therefore it could not say which store would open first.

“We’re still in the early stages … but there will be several stores,” H&M spokeswoman Camilla Emilsson-Falk told AFP.

IN PICTURES: Hot designs at Mercedes Benz Stockholm Fashion Week

The company said it saw great potential in the South African market but refused to disclose any details.

“We see great potential for further expansion in this region. We look forward to bringing fashion and quality at the best price to the customers in South Africa,” H&M’s chief executive Karl-Johan Persson said in a statement.

The first store that opens will be a full concept flagship store, the company said.

H&M’s only other stores on the African continent are in Egypt and Morocco.

The company said it had opened some 100 new stores in the second quarter, bringing its total number of outlets worldwide to 2,908.

IN PICTURES: More scenes from Mercedes Benz Stockholm Fashion Week

Using an average annual exchange rate, H&M remained the biggest clothing company in 2012 with its sales edging out Spanish competitor Inditex, which owns Zara.

But H&M risks losing its number one spot this year to Inditex, which has twice as many stores, is growing faster and is more profitable.

IN PICTURES: Take a look back through some of H&M’s top collaborations

AFP/The Local/og

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