Tuesday 16 January 2018

Police link honeymoon murder in South Africa to 2007 killing

Shrien Dewani (fourth from left) stands with his family at the family
home in Westbury on Trym, Bristol, at the weekend. Photo: PA/BEN BIRCHILL
Shrien Dewani (fourth from left) stands with his family at the family home in Westbury on Trym, Bristol, at the weekend. Photo: PA/BEN BIRCHILL

Caroline Gammell, Richard Savill and Dan Newling in Cape Town

A bridegroom accused of murdering his wife has been linked to a similar killing in South Africa in 2007.

Police in South Africa are investigating possible links between the shooting of Shrien Dewani's wife, Anni, on their honeymoon in November and the killing of Dr Pox Raghavjee three years ago.

Both were killed when they were shot in the head and the cars they were travelling in were not stolen after the attack.

Dr Raghavjee's killer was never found.

Mr Dewani is fighting extradition from Britain to South Africa after he was implicated in his wife's murder by Zola Tongo, the taxi driver the couple hired on the night of the shooting.

Police announced the possible link between the two murders as it emerged that Dr Raghavjee's daughter-in-law is from Bristol and is a family friend of Mr Dewani.

Alvita Raghavjee, a 30-year-old mother-of-two, works as a travel agent in the city. In 2002, Mrs Raghavjee married her husband Krischen, who grew up in South Africa with his parents Dr Raghavjee, mother Heather and two siblings.

Max Clifford, Mr Dewani's spokesman, said claims of a link between the two deaths were "farcical" and that his client denied any involvement in either killing.

Dr Raghavjee, a 60-year-old GP, was murdered in November 2007.

Yesterday, police in King William's Town in South Africa confirmed that the case surrounding his murder was being looked at again.

"We can confirm that the investigations are on again in the case of Dr Raghavjee," said Captain Thozama Solani.

South African police are preparing to use the testimony of a second self-confessed criminal to blame Mr Dewani for his wife Anni's murder.

Detectives investigating the hijacking are reported to have offered the so-called "fifth suspect" a deal that would see him escape prosecution in order to testify against Mr Dewani.

Mr Clifford described it as "laughable" and "simply ludicrous". He said: "First of all you have the taxi driver who made statements to the police in which he said one thing. Then he admits that actually he was lying, but the police decide to take him seriously.

"Now, you have another person who is meant to be involved in a murder and he is implicating Shrien.

"It's becoming difficult to keep up with the lies coming out of South Africa. If it wasn't so tragic it would be a farce." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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