Dewani believed Anni was killed because she screamed

By Drum Digital
20 October 2014

Shrien Dewani believed his wife Anni was killed in a 2010 hijacking in Cape Town because she screamed, her first cousin told the Western Cape High Court.

Shrien Dewani believed his wife Anni was killed in a 2010 hijacking in Cape Town because she screamed, her first cousin told the Western Cape High Court on Monday.

Sneha Mashru told prosecutor Shareen Riley that Dewani called her hours after the hijacking on November 13, 2010, to explain what had happened on their honeymoon.

Moments before, Anni's sister Ami had phoned to tell her that her cousin was shot dead.

"He told me that Anni wanted to see the townships and that he was tired and wanted to go home... Anni kept on saying to him 'don't be so boring, don't be so boring. Let's go see the townships'. So they went, my lady," Mashru said.

Dewani told her that two people banged on their shuttle taxi's windscreen and entered the vehicle.

He said Anni screamed repeatedly for the men to let them go because they were on honeymoon and he told her to keep quiet.

Dewani apparently explained to Mashru that his wife took off her wedding ring, hid it between the seats, and gave him another ring to give to the men.

The men apparently got annoyed, said the ring was not worth anything and put a gun to his ear. He was then pushed out the back seat window.

Dewani apparently told her his theory about the killing.

"Firstly, he said 'do not ever repeat this to anyone else'. The reason for why Anni was shot was because she was screaming. Had she not been screaming, she would not have been killed," Mashru said.

The men had apparently explained to him before she screamed that they would drop Anni further off down the road.

Dewani is charged with murdering his wife during their honeymoon in Cape Town in November 2010. He has pleaded not guilty to the five counts against him, maintaining that the couple were the victims of a hijacking on November 13, 2010.

The State alleges that he conspired with others to stage the hijacking in return for R15,000. Anni's body was found in the abandoned shuttle taxi in Khayelitsha on Sunday, November 14.

Riley asked if she had contact with Dewani when he returned from South Africa. Mashru confirmed she stayed in Dewani's Bristol home.

She said she felt very uncomfortable there and that Shrien Dewani acted very cold and controlling. He did not act the way she expected someone would act while grieving for their wife.

She heard him say to his father that his shoulders were very stiff and he needed to get a massage. He also said his suits were too big for him and he needed to go to the tailors.

Mashru found it strange that he would care about his appearance so much.

He ate a lot of food in that time while she could barely find enough energy to eat because she was grieving.

What she found most peculiar was that he had Anni's funeral planned on a spreadsheet on his laptop.

"He knew everything. What songs to play, what people were going to stand where, i.e. who was going to greet, who was going to be with the car with the body. I could not focus on that. I thought it was strange," she said.

She wanted to leave the house in the middle of the night but was told the gates were closed so she left on the earliest train the following morning.

The funeral took place on November 20 and 21.

The day before the funeral, Mashru said she wanted to do Anni's make-up one last time and she went to the funeral parlour with family members to dress her up.

She said she couldn't see the love in Shrien's eyes as he gazed at her body.

Anni's body was swollen and he apparently tried to squeeze bangles onto her wrist.

"I told him 'stop, you are hurting her'. I can still hear, to this day, the noise when he dropped her arm."

When he put red powder onto her scalp, as he had done during their wedding, Mashru said it did not seem as though he was feeling anything and he did it quickly before leaving the room.

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