Dewani never gave me R500 – officer

2014-11-06 14:27

A police officer assigned to look after Shrien Dewani and family members in 2010 never received R500 as a thank-you gesture, he told the Western Cape High Court.

Pieter Botha, for Dewani, asked Captain Vinesh Lutchman to confirm that his client gave him a thank-you card and R500 just before he left the country on November 16 2010.

Lutchman, the state’s 13th witness, said he got a card in a white envelope but no money.

Botha said the money was given because the officer had given some of his own chronic medication to Shrien Dewani’s father in law, had driven them around and made calls on his phone.

“It was a state vehicle and in the course of duty,” Lutchman replied.

“If he did give me R500 I would have brought it to the attention of my commander. If we get a gift we must declare it. I just opened it the next day and saw the card. There was no money in the card.”

Botha tried to indicate that Lutchman might not want to admit he received money because he had not declared it, but the officer stuck to his version.

Dewani is on trial for allegedly plotting with shuttle taxi driver Zola Tongo and others to kill his wife Anni while they were on honeymoon in Cape Town in November 2010.

He has pleaded not guilty to charges including kidnapping, murder and defeating the ends of justice.

The state alleges he conspired with others to stage the hijacking in return for R15 000.

Lutchman was appointed as the family liaison officer after the incident and spent most of the time with Shrien Dewani.

Deputy Judge President Jeanette Traverso asked whether there was anything about Dewani’s behaviour that made him suspicious.

Lutchman said he did not act suspiciously.

The court earlier heard that Dewani did not attend a Hindu ceremony to bless his wife’s body before it was repatriated.

He had told Lutchman he was going to go shopping.

Botha explained that Dewani had identified her body at the morgue the previous day and that was quite traumatic.

He simply did not want to see her body again.

“If it is a loved one’s postmortem and you thereafter have to identify the body, that is not a pleasant thing to do?” Botha asked of the witness.

Lutchman said it was not.

He said Dewani did not tell him about any of his holiday plans, including the surprise helicopter trip, and that it would have been strange given the circumstances.

He also conceded that Dewani might not have wanted to speak to a counsellor because he was anxious about the steps the police were taking to find his wife.

However, he stuck to his version that Dewani used the word “township” when explaining that Anni wanted to see the nightlife.

He was excused from the stand.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.