‘Shrien had reaction to his sleeping pills’

2011-02-23 07:11

Media reports on British honeymoon murder accused Shrien Dewani today ranged from him suffering from an “allergic reaction to sleeping pills” to him being hospitalised because of “weak” health.

Several UK publications said he had been released from hospital yesterday.

South Africa’s justice spokesperson Tlali Tlali said yesterday that Dewani (31), wanted in South Africa in connection with the murder of his bride Anni in a Cape Town township last year, had apparently tried to commit suicide.

“We were notified by legal representatives of Dewani that he was admitted to hospital [on Sunday] in what appears to be a suicide attempt,” Tlali said.

But media reports out of Britain today, including the Mail Online, The Independent and the UK-based Press Association, quoted a “family spokesman” who denied that he tried to kill himself.

“Shrien had a reaction to his sleeping tablets on Sunday and was taken to hospital as a precaution,” the family spokesperson said.

“They allowed him to sleep it off without any other treatment and he has been assessed as being medically fit to be discharged today [Tuesday].

“There was no intention to kill himself. He continues to suffer from severe post-traumatic stress disorder under the most extreme pressures from South Africa.”

Dewani’s spokesperson, Max Clifford, told the local The Times newspaper that he was taken to hospital because “members of Shrien’s family became extremely worried about his health”.

“He is not sleeping or eating and became too weak. The decision to take him to hospital was made by his family in consultation with his doctor,” said Clifford.

The Sun reported that he was released from hospital yesterday.

Anni Dewani’s uncle, Ashok Hindocha, responded to the reports by calling on Shrien to “face justice and end this nightmare for all of us”, reported The Mirror, which also said he had been released from hospital.

“For everyone’s sake, for your health and for ours, please give us closure and face justice. Every day this is hurting us and it’s hurting you,” said Hindocha.

“We think about Anni when we wake up and when we go to bed as I’m sure you do.”

Anni Dewani was found dead in Khayelitsha in November in a shuttle bus she and her new husband Shrien had been driven in for dinner.

On their way back to Cape Town, the vehicle turned off to Gugulethu, where Shrien Dewani has said he was eventually pushed out of a window with the bus driving off with Anni still inside.

Driver Zola Tongo was sentenced to 18 years in prison after he made a statement saying Shrien commissioned him to deal with a “client”.

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