‘Revealing‘ arrests due in tourist saga

2010-11-21 10:25

Police arrested a third suspect yesterday afternoon in connection with the high-profile ­murder of a British tourist in Cape Town last weekend.

A 31-year-old Capetonian man will appear in the Wynberg Regional Court tomorrow.

This brings the number of people arrested in connection with the murder so far to three.

Police sources earlier said two other people would be ­arrested at upmarket hotels this week. The sources said one of the arrests would be “revealing”.

On Tuesday police arrested Xolile Mngeni (26) of Khayelitsha. He appeared in the Wynberg Regional Court on Thursday on charges of murder and aggravated kidnapping and will appear again on Thursday.

Another suspect, a 26-year-old man from Khayelitsha, will appear in court tomorrow. The suspects appear to be members of a “young” syndicate.

Another source said Shrien (30) and Anni (28) Dewani, a British millionaire couple, had been accompanied by their own security personnel on their South African honeymoon.

They stayed at the luxury Cape Grace Hotel at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town. Last Saturday they went to a restaurant in the Strand, 52km from Cape Town.

Shrien later said that at about 11pm his wife said she wanted to experience the “real Africa” by visiting the famous eatery, Mzoli’s, in Guguletu, that celebrity chef Jamie Oliver had visited before and written ­glowingly about.

They were then hijacked by a group of men. The driver and Shrien were thrown out of the vehicle at different spots.

Anni was later shot dead. Her body was found on Sunday morning about 2km from where Shrien had been dumped.

Police chief Bheki Cele this week said the suspects were a “group of people” and that there was a “crack” in the murder case that would lead to more arrests.

Cele said neither Shrien nor the driver of the car the couple were travelling in were suspects. The driver was identified by the British tabloid, The Sun, as Zola Tonga, a Congolese.

On why Shrien had left the country so soon after the murder, Cele said there was very good cooperation between South African and British authorities.

Sources said an identification parade might be held and that Shrien might have to return to South Africa.
British detectives will also visit the scene of the crime.

Shrien’s brother, Preyen, told the British media that the couple had chosen to honeymoon in South Africa because their initials, “S” and “A”, spelt SA for South Africa. They had known each other for only a year and were married in India.

However, contrary to published reports, Preyen claimed the couple were not on their way to party in Guguletu that fateful night. They were apparently driving on the N2 highway but were cut off by another car, forcing them to stop.

He said the hijackers only wanted the vehicle and that the couple had even handed over their wedding rings. The hijackers also threatened to shoot Anni if Shrien did not leave the vehicle. He was pushed from the moving vehicle and stopped a passing motorist.

The manager of Mzoli’s, Max Nqunqa, said his restaurant closed at 7pm on Saturdays.

“Everybody, from tour operators to tourists, know they should not drive through the townships at night. It’s too dangerous,” he said.

The Sun reported on Friday that PSP Healthcare, a healthcare group owned by Shrien, an accountant and Preyen had debts of nearly R70million.

They have allegedly also not filed their tax returns for this year.

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