Anni’s sister: This will haunt us for the rest of our lives

2014-12-08 14:48
Members of the Hindocha family outside the Western Cape High Court. (Paul Herman, News24)

Members of the Hindocha family outside the Western Cape High Court. (Paul Herman, News24)

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Cape Town - The sister of slain honeymoon victim Anni Hindocha says the decision to dismiss her former-brother-in-law Shrien Dewani’s murder trial will haunt their family for the rest of their lives.

Sister Ami Denborg, along with other members of the Hindocha family, left the Western Cape High Court on Monday in tears following Judge Jeanette Traverso’s decision to dismiss the case against Dewani due to contradictory evidence.

And while some commentators feel Traverso was simply following the letter of the law, sister Ami feels that they have been left with only more unanswered questions.

“We waited patiently for four years to hear what really happened to Anni, and to hear the full story of what happened,” she told reporters outside the Western Cape High Court.

 “We came here looking for the truth, and all we got, was more questions.

 “We just wanted to hear all the events, and the hope of actually finding that out has kept us going as a family.

“Unfortunately, we believe that this right has now been taken away from us. Today has been really, really sad, because we never heard the full story from Shrien."

Inconsistent testimonies

The ruling by Traverso, whose stance in the trial has been called into question recently following claims of bias, came down to the inconsistent testimonies of witnesses and co-accused Zola Tongo, Monde Mbolombo and Mziwamadoda Qwabe.

Tongo is serving an 18-year jail term and Qwabe a 25-year jail term. Xolile Mngeni was serving life in jail for firing the shot that killed Anni, but died in prison from a brain tumour on 18 October, Sapa reported.

Hotel receptionist Mbolombo was granted immunity from prosecution on two charges during Mngeni's trial, but was warned he faced possible prosecution on various charges if he did not testify truthfully during Dewani's trial.

Traverso ruled on Monday that she would not grant Mbolombo immunity.

She found that the evidence presented by Tongo, Qwabe, and Mbolombo was replete with fundamental contradictions.

"I take into account that all three witnesses are intelligent and more than capable of twisting their versions to implicate the accused," she said.

"They may have been amateurs, but I do not believe any of them would have been so stupid as to commit the crimes for a few thousand rands."

Double life

Ami also addressed revelations from the case that the now-free Dewani had lied about his sexual orientation, which seemed a clear sticking point for the family as she continued her statement.

“We heard that Shrien had lived a double life, and Anni knew nothing about it,” she continued.

“We just wish Shrien had been honest with us, especially with Anni.

“The knowledge of not ever knowing what happened to my dearest little sister will haunt me, my brother, and my parents for the rest of our lives.”

The Hindocha family, though, reserved kind words for the South African public and the world at large, thanking them for all their support during what proved a short-lived trial.

“We’ve had tremendous support from the South African public, and many others around the world," she added.

“We’re grateful to all of them, and thank them from the bottom of our hearts.”

“This is a really sad day for us. And we hope that no other families ever have to go through what we’ve been through.

“We as a family will make no further comments, and respectfully ask that we be given some private space for reflection.”

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

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