Tourist murder: father to hear of victim’s last moments today

2010-12-07 00:00

CAPE TOWN — The father of murder victim Anni Dewani will hear in the Western Cape High Court today what happened in the last few hours of his daughter’s life.

According to a source close to the investigation, Vinod Hindocha (61) of Mariestad, Sweden, arrived in South Africa in great secrecy over the weekend to attend the trial of Zola Tongo (31).

Tongo has entered into a plea agreement with the state.

It emerged yesterday that Hindocha, and not Anni’s husband Shrien Dewani, was consulted during the plea agreement negotiations.

According to the source, Hindocha’s submissions during the negotiations were done in writing.

Anni’s younger brother, Anish Hindocha, speaking from Mariestad yesterday, would not disclose the whereabouts of his father or his uncle, Ashok Hindocha.

Meanwhile, another charge — that of obstruction of justice — has been added to those of kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances, and murder against Tongo. He was the driver of the vehicle in which Anni’s body was found on November 14.

Anni and her husband were abducted on November 13 in Guguletu. The hijackers dropped off her husband and Tongo and drove off with her. Her body was found the next day on the back seat of the vehicle. She had been shot dead.

Tongo’s trial was separated from that of Xolile Mngeni (23) and Mziwamadoda Qwabe in the Wynberg Regional Court yesterday and moved to the Western Cape High Court.

Tongo’s lawyer, William da Grass, said again yesterday that everything about the murder will be revealed in court today.

Advocate Rodney de Kock, Western Cape head of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions, asked for the case against Mngeni and Qwabe to be postponed to February 25 to allow for further investigation.

De Kock also submitted the indictment, a summary of the facts and the official witness list to the court. He added, however, that a list containing the names of the witnesses will be withheld fromthe media.

Western Cape judge president John Hlophe must decide today whether the sentence proposed in the plea agreement is fair.

According to Sapa, national police commissioner General Bheki Cele said yesterday that Mngeni is facing several other serious charges and was out on bail at the time of the killing.

Eyewitness News quoted Cele as saying that Mngeni was out on bail for “murder, attempted murder, and being in possession of illegal firearms and other goods”.


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