Former Gaydar employee testifies at Dewani trial


British businessman Shrien Dewani described himself on a gay dating website as a single gay man, a former website employee told the Western Cape High Court on Monday.

Simon Johnson (33) the former digital product manager of the Gaydar website, was called as the third State witness to testify on Dewani's profile, 'ASIANSUBGUY'.

In a British accent, he explained that the customer for this profile had ticked "single gay man" for describing himself, out of a number of options including "single bi[sexual] man".

Under sexual orientation, he chose "gay".

Dewani had also selected "no" for the section asking whether the individual had disclosed their sexuality publicly.

In his plea explanation handed up to the court a week ago, Dewani said he was bisexual and had had sexual interactions with both men and women.

"My sexual interactions with males were mostly physical experiences or e-mail chats with people I met online or in clubs, including prostitutes such as Leipold Leisser," he stated in the plea document.

"My sexual interactions with females were usually during the course of a relationship which consisted of other activities and emotional attachment."

He met Anni Hindocha on May 30, 2009 after a mutual friend gave him her contact details.

In his plea explanation, he said he was instantly physically attracted to her on their first date, loved her bubbly personality and sensed there was mutual chemistry.

Dewani is accused of masterminding her murder during their honeymoon in Cape Town in 2010. He has pleaded not guilty to the five counts against him, maintaining that the couple were the victims of a hijacking in Gugulethu, Cape Town, on November 13, 2010.

Johnson said Dewani's profile indicated he was looking for a single gay man, a single bi man, a gay couple or a group.

On March 14, 2010, there was a single transaction of 60 British Pounds to upgrade the profile from a guest to member for a year.

Prosecutor Adrian Mopp said there were 59 saved private messages on the profile in total, of which 16 were sent or received between May 2009 and October 2010.

He also went through a table of log-ins and log-offs for the profile in question, confirming Dewani had visited the site on November 12, November 15 and November 16 in 2010.

In his formal admissions, Dewani admitted his computer was logged onto Gaydar in the early hours of the morning on November 15, 2010.

His wife's body was found in their hijacked shuttle taxi early on November 14, 2010.

He also conceded his computer was logged onto the site on November 15 and November 16, and while waiting with Anni for their flight from Johannesburg to Cape Town on November 12, 2010.

Johnson explained that the site allowed people to add users as friends or favourites to share messages and photos with.

Mopp said there were a number of photos uploaded onto Dewani's profile.

Johnson testified that there were also a variety of chatrooms that "were particularly sexually charged" but that these visits were not recorded by the website.

Johnson was first approached by United Kingdom detectives in January 2011 to assist them with Dewani's profile and he intermittently provided them with information.

Dewani joined the Gaydar website in August 2004 and the last activity on his profile was on November 21, 2010.

"On that day, the profile was removed by the customer," Johnson said.

He said although the profile was removed from the site, it was still accessible to staff using a special application.


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