Thursday 18 January 2018

Police probe 'planned' honeymoon murder

Anni Dewani, pictured with her husband, Shrien Dewani, was killed after a carjacking on their honeymoon in Cape Town
Anni Dewani, pictured with her husband, Shrien Dewani, was killed after a carjacking on their honeymoon in Cape Town

Aislinn Laing in Johannesburg

The British husband of a woman murdered by armed robbers on her honeymoon in Cape Town is expected to return to South Africa today as police investigate the possibility that she was the victim of a "planned hit".

Shrien Dewani (30) will be accompanied by British family liaison officers and is expected to be asked to take part in a series of identity parades.

Since Mr Dewani left South Africa with his wife Anni's body last Wednesday, two more local men, aged 26 and 31, have been arrested on suspicion of carjacking and murder in addition to the first suspect, 26-year-old Xolile Mngeni.

Zola Tongo, the driver of the unlicensed shuttle taxi the couple were in when they were ambushed in the township of Guguletu, is reported to have turned "state witness".


"This is a very bad situation and I am in fear of my life. I did not do it. I have done nothing wrong," Mr Tongo said.

Cape Town's 'Weekend Argus' paper quoted Mr Tongo's lawyer, William da Grass, as saying there had been "further developments", and an unnamed police source as promising "an explosive revelation".

Two more people, said to be working for two top Cape Town hotels, have been taken in for questioning and it has been reported that Mr Mngeni was awaiting trial for violent crimes, including murder, when Mrs Dewani, a 28-year-old Swedish engineer, was killed. Police also believe they have found the handgun used in the killing.

Media reports claimed that police believe there may be more to the case and are looking at the possibility that Mrs Dewani died in a "planned hit".

Mr Dewani, from Westbury-on-Trym, near Bristol, told how he and his new wife, who married in India, were on their way to their hotel after dinner when she asked if they could detour through Guguletu because she wanted to see the "real Africa".

Two armed men approached the vehicle and forced the driver out before driving away with the couple. Mr Dewani said he was forced out at gunpoint around half an hour later while the car was still moving, although he was unharmed. He alerted police and his wife's body was found in the car the following morning.

A post mortem revealed she had been shot in the neck. Police said there was no evidence that she had been sexually assaulted, but a student who was present when her body was discovered said her underwear was around her knees and her dress was pulled up around her waist.

It has also been reported that Mr Dewani's company, PSP Healthcare, which he runs with his father and brother, is £6.23m (€7.26m) in debt, although the firm has denied this.

Mr Dewani declined to comment on the latest reports. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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