A bloody honeymoon for an Indian bride in Cape Town, South Africa

Anni and Shrien Dewani were described 'a very sweet couple who looked very happy together' by the staff and the guests of Chitwa Chitwa an exclusive upmarket lodge at Sabi Sand Game Reserve, Mpumalanga where the couple stayed for two days from November 9 to 11, last year. On November 12 they flew to Cape Town. There at the International Airport Shrien hired driver Zola Tongo to chauffeur them to the luxury Cape Grace Hotel.




Next day Tongo took them to Gugulethu a township near Cape Town.  On their return back to the hotel late in the evening his vehicle, a VW Sharan, was high-jacked by two men. The high-jackers pushed first Tongo and then Shrien out of the vehicle and drove off. Next day the abandoned vehicle was found at Khayelitsha, another township near Cape town in which Anni's body was found shot at neck.




The news shocked South Africa and Britain. Shrine 31is British and Annie 28 Sweedish. Shrien co owns PSP Healthcare that has nursing homes in the UK and lives in Britsol, Southwestern England. Anni, daughter to Vindo Hindocha was a part-time model. Both got married in Mumbai, India, in a spectacular Hindu wedding ceremony on October 29, 2010.




To South Africa, it was an issue of national interest. To the fledgling democracy piecing together its destiny from the ashes of apartheid, yet showed to the world its unified front at the World Cup 2010, it offered a challenge; the challenge to convince the world that international visitors are safe and secure within its boundary as it proclaims.   


The national police force was sent on alert within seconds. Three days after the incident on November 17, Xolile Mngeni 26 was arrested from Khayelitsha. Next day on November 18, Mzwamadoda Qwabe 26, was also arrested from the same place.  Both were arrested in connection with the high-jack.




On November 20, Zola Tongo Shrien's driver was also arrested.  Subsequently Tongo pleaded guilty and implicated Shrien in the murder of his wife in his plea bargain. According to him, no sooner than he took the couple to the Cape Grace Hotel, Shrein arranged with him to have a hit on Anni. It is also alleged that he was given R15000 as reward by Shrein.  So the high-jack was seemingly pre-planned.  Tongo serves a live sentence in the South African prison.


The murder case has its dramatic twists and turns too.


An apparently grieving Shrien left South Africa to Britain with his wife's body on 16 November 2010.  Following the events unfolded in South Africa he was arrested there, kept in Wandsworth prison, London and was subsequently granted bail on R2,7 million.


Shrien denied any wrong doing in the murder of his wife. However, according to the South African Police there are strong evidences against him in the murder case of his wife, the accusation in Tongo's plea bargain is only one among them.


For a fair trial for the victim, South Africa wanted him to be extradited to South Africa, which Shrien's legal team in Britain opposes.


The reasons are: 1.Shrien is mentally sick following the tragic death of his wife and he is now admitted to Fromeside Clinic, a secure mental hospital in Britsol.  He is suicidal and according to his lawyers in Britain,''the foreseeable consequence of removal will be and increase in the risk of suicide...To extradite someone who's unfit is oppressive.''


2.Risk in the South African jails that are infested with physical and sexual violence. So his legal team suspects whether he can get a fair trial in South Africa
3.Proximity of his family. In Britain it is easy to get the support of his family.


However, of the latest, on August 11, 2011, Judge Howard Riddle made a ruling in the Belmarsh's Court in South East London that Shrien Dewani can be extradited from to South Africa. He also mentioned that there is a 'strong public interest' in he being extradited.


The application to extradite Shrien will be now passed on to the Home Secretary Theresa May who will make a final decision on it.


South Africans have welcomed the decision.  According to them the extradition is a chance to steer clear of the allegations leveled against their legal system, the jail conditions as well as the suspicion hanging over the visitors' safety in their country.


You can also have a say in the extradition by signing in the following petition.





16 comments:

  1. A bloody honeymoon for an Indian bride in Cape Town

    ReplyDelete
  2. I remember reading this news item as it occurred last year.That there were hurdles in getting him extradited was also reported . Thanks for the update.

    (There was an Agatha Cristie Story of a crime occurring Cape Town and the plot involves a girl traveling from London to Cape - Just got reminded of that!!(forgot the title of the story))

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yep! Recollected!
    "The Man in the Brown Suit"
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Man_in_the_Brown_Suit

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi vasu,

    thanks a lot for the read, comments and the link. Cape Town was and is a very historic and romantic destination.

    It may be a coincidence that the main character in AC's novel is Anne while the character in the real story is also Anni. What a tragic real story.

    However, there is a petition running to have the public a say in Shrien's extradition to South Africa. i did not see it when I wrote the post.

    I have updated my post with that link. Please use it and pass it on to others who may be interested in using it.

    keep well

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you for bringing such a real tragic incident in to public attention. I felt pity what kind of a husband he was. If things are so whom can a girl trust to travel with? If he didn't want her he would have divorced her without committing this brutal murder.
    Really nice narration.
    Keep it up

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  7. Hi Shukoor,

    thanks a lot for your opinion.

    Yes, I cannot less agree with you. That is the real issue? who can u trust in marriage with your daughter ?

    The guy seemingly underestimated the South African criminal justice system.

    Everybody is closely watching here as to how the case is unfolding.

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  11. How cruel. I hope justice will be done.

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  12. This is the saddest piece I have read recently..Its too early for the lovely couple to have been separated..Not by Life but Death..

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