Shrien Dewani gets his day in court

2014-10-05 22:13
Shrien Dewani. (Sang Tan, AP)

Shrien Dewani. (Sang Tan, AP) (Sang Tan)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - British millionaire businessman Shrien Dewani goes on trial on Monday in the Western Cape High Court in Cape Town accused of masterminding the murder of his wife during their honeymoon in South Africa four years ago.

Dewani's case has finally reached trial after he lost a three-year extradition fight in Britain and was ruled mentally fit to stand trial.

He was sent back to South Africa in April to answer charges for the murder of his Swedish-born bride Anni, who was shot dead on 13 November 2010.

Dewani, 34, is accused of orchestrating the hit by hiring three South Africans to kill the 28-year-old in Cape Town.

He denies the charge, claiming the pair were hijacked at gunpoint during their honeymoon as they drove through Gugulethu in a taxi.

Dewani escaped unharmed, but his wife's body was found in the abandoned car the next day.

The three South Africans have been tried and convicted and are serving jail sentences of between 18 years and life for their role in Anni Dewani's death.

Taxi driver Zola Tongo admitted guilt in a plea bargain along with another man, Mziwamadoda Qwabe. The two were sentenced to 18 and 25 years in prison respectively.

A third man, Xolile Mngeni, was later found guilty of firing the shot that killed Anni, and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Tongo's claim that Dewani had offered him R15 000 to have Anni killed is expected to play a key role in the prosecution's arguments.

Arranged marriage

Dewani fought a protracted legal battle to avoid being extradited from Britain to South Africa, claiming he had mental health problems, including depression and post-traumatic stress.

But an assessment by South African psychiatric experts found he was "not mentally ill" and "fit to stand trial".

The prosecution is expected to argue that Dewani is gay and plotted to have his wife killed to escape an arranged marriage that he was pushed into by his family.

Both Dewani and Anni are of Indian origin, from what news reports have described as devout Hindu families.

Contents of two statements to the police by Anni's cousin and by a Birmingham male prostitute, and leaked to the media, make startling claims of Anni's unhappy engagement to Dewani.

Anni's cousin Sneha Hindocha, in a statement cited by The Sunday Independent, chronicles a rocky 17-month courtship where Anni repeatedly felt sexually rejected by Dewani.

A 40-year-old gay prostitute, Leopold Leisser, claimed in a separate statement that Dewani was his client.

Leisser, according to the Saturday Star, also alleged that Dewani had told him he was getting married to a "lovely girl", but he needed "to find a way out of it".

The defence is likely to paint a picture of a happy newlywed couple.

It is yet unclear how many witnesses both sides will call during the trial.


Read more on:    anni hindocha  |  shrien dewani  |  cape town  |  honeymoon hijacking  |  dewani trial

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
15 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

PARTNER CONTENT
WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.

/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.