Reporter: Dewani emotional during interview

2014-10-20 12:59
Shrien Dewani (File, AP)

Shrien Dewani (File, AP)

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Cape Town - Murder-accused Shrien Dewani was highly emotional during an interview he gave shortly after his wife's murder in 2010, the Western Cape High Court heard on Monday.

State witness Nick Parker, a British journalist at The Sun newspaper, said Dewani became increasingly distressed as he interviewed him in London on 22 November 2010.

"Would it be correct to say that he became highly emotional? Would it be correct to say he was shaky and ill at ease and took deep breaths to steel himself before answering questions on the carjacking?" asked Dewani's lawyer Francois van Zyl during cross-examination.

Van Zyl referred to an article he wrote on 8 December 2010, in which he said Dewani wept and was overwhelmed with emotion.

Parker replied that Dewani wept and shook.

‘Animosity from some relatives quite patent’

Van Zyl informed him and the court that his client met his wife's family just hours before he was interviewed by Parker.

"He will say that at that meeting the animosity from some of the relatives was quite patent to him," Van Zyl said.

It was his client's version that he decided not to mention to the family that he had a large amount of money with him and that was the reason they were hijacked.

Dewani is accused of the murder of 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 13 November 2010.

The State alleges that he conspired with others to stage the hijacking in return for R15 000.

Family reputation

Dewani claims the money was for a surprise helicopter trip he wanted to take his wife on.

His lawyer said on Monday that his client's then-publicist Max Clifford was instructed by his brother Preyen to maintain the reputation of their family and health care business.

Parker confirmed Clifford's office contacted him to conduct the interview.

He was asked about his subsequent interview with German prostitute Leopold Leisser.

Van Zyl asked whether he knew how much Leisser's agent wanted for the story.

"Does £30 000 ring a bell?" the lawyer asked.

Parker replied that he could not recall an amount but it was possible.

Once an agreement was reached between Leisser's agent and the newspaper editor, Parker met him and two articles were published.

Parker visited Cape Town a week after the interviews and stayed a night at the Cape Grace Hotel and the rest of his stay at another establishment.

He tried to contact shuttle taxi driver and convicted killer Zola Tongo and said he may have left phone messages for him.

Parker said that he and a journalist went to Tongo's home and they saw him briefly in his garden. He was very reluctant to talk to them and went back inside.

Van Zyl asked whether they offered Tongo money to speak.

Parker said he did not offer money.

Asked about an offer from the media of R1 500 for a story, he said: "It is possible but I have no recollection of it."

He was excused from the stand.

Read more on:    shrien dewani  |  cape town  |  dewani trial  |  crime

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