Tuesday 12 December 2017

Honeymoon murder husband accused

Newlyweds Shrien Dewani and Anni Dewani. Photo: PA
Newlyweds Shrien Dewani and Anni Dewani. Photo: PA

A British man whose new wife was killed on honeymoon in South Africa plotted her murder, a court heard today.

Taxi driver Zola Tongo, 31, claimed Shrien Dewani offered him £1,300 (15,000 Rand) to have 28-year-old Anni killed.

Mrs Dewani was shot dead by gunmen a day later as she and her husband, 31, were driven through Gugulethu township in Cape Town.

Tongo's claims formed part of a plea agreement drawn up with prosecutors at the Cape High Court, where he was jailed for 18 years for his part in the killing on November 13.

Mr Dewani, from Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol, who has denied any involvement in his wife's murder, returned to England after the killing.

But authorities have not ruled out making an extradition request for his return to South Africa.

Mrs Dewani's father, Viand Hindocha, struggled to contain his grief during today's hearing and left the court with tears in his eyes.

Publicist Max Clifford, who has been acting on behalf of Mr Dewani, described Mr Tongo's accusations as the latest in a string of false allegations against him.

In a statement the Dewani family said: "Shrien is totally innocent of any involvement in this heinous crime.

"These allegations are totally ludicrous and very hurtful to a young man who is grieving the loss of the woman he loved, his chosen life partner.

"South African police have never sought to speak to Shrien regarding the allegations.

"Instead two weeks have been spent negotiating this confession from the taxi driver while the two others accused have complained of torture and false confessions.

"Mr Dewani remains in the UK where he has been receiving medical treatment as well as trauma and bereavement counselling."

Press Association

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