Honeymoon murder victim's husband pleaded with carjackers
Published 16/11/2010 | 11:12
The husband of a newlywed murdered on her honeymoon in South Africa said he pleaded with armed carjackers not to separate him from his wife.
Shrien Dewani and his wife Anni had been married for just two weeks when their taxi was targeted in a township on the outskirts of Cape Town late on Saturday night.
The gunmen drove off with the couple inside the people carrier and forced Mr Dewani, 31, out of the window of the vehicle after driving around dark streets for 20 minutes.
With a gun held to his head, he was told that his partner would not be harmed.
The body of his 28-year-old Swedish wife was found the next morning.
"The first we knew that the cab was being attacked was when we heard the banging," Mr Dewani told the Daily Mail.
"I don't want to go into detail about what happened during the attack, because I will probably start crying. But they were so cold. They put a gun in my ear and pulled back the trigger - it really was the stuff of movies.
"The men kept on saying 'We are not going to hurt you. We just want the car.' That was a lie.
"Most of the conversation in the car was us pleading for us to be dumped together. I held on to Anni as I said to them 'Look, if you're not going to hurt her, why don't you let us go?'"
The couple, who married in India, spent the first four days of their honeymoon on safari in Kruger National Park before heading to a five-star hotel in Cape Town.
Mr Dewani, from Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol, said they decided to venture outside of the normal tourist areas to see the "real Africa".
He said: "Anni grew up in Sweden, and she felt as if the area around this hotel was just like at home: so clean and safe, and maybe a bit sterile.
"She had never been to Africa before, so she suggested that we should have a look at the 'real Africa'."
He said they were being driven through the township of Gugulethu when they were attacked by two gunmen.
He was dumped in another township and alerted police.
Mr Dewani, who owns a series of care homes, said his wife had recently graduated from a product design course at university in Sweden.
She was due to move to London after their honeymoon.
He added: "She loved people and she loved life and she was always, always happy."
Her father, Vinod Hindocha, told the Swedish newspaper Expressen: "It's just terrible. She was the most beautiful girl in the world."
Friends set up a Facebook tribute page called Memory of Anni Dewani which reads: "You are always in our hearts. We will remember you forever."
More than 3,100 people have joined the online group. One user, Ami Denborg, wrote: "My dearest little sister. I will miss you so much. It's so hard to imagine a life without you being a part of it.
"Your laugh, your smile, your style, everything about you is so wonderful. I love you. May you rest in peace."
Another friend, Rajen Shah, wrote: "Having been at your wedding, what has happened is unimaginable and still can't believe you are not present amongst us.
"Our deepest sympathies to Shrien and every member of both families for the great loss.
"Little Keshvi called you a princess and you truly were a princess. Beautiful memories will always be with us."
Another friend, Shivani Pala, posted: "Dearest Anni. I had the privilege of putting a payal on your foot at one of your wedding functions. You looked beautiful on that day and I remember the way u smiled at me and what you said!
"The wedding was perfect and both families hosted us so well which is reflective of what wonderful people you all are."
Police in South Africa are still hunting for the killers.
A Western Cape Police spokesman said: "The investigation is still ongoing and the search for the suspects continues.
"No-one has been arrested and detectives are following up on all possible leads."
Reports claim Mrs Dewani was shot but officers would not comment on the cause of death.