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South African Court Clears British Man Shrien Dewani of Honeymoon Murder

NAN

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Shrien Dewani Granted Bail After High Court Hearing

A South African court cleared British businessman, Shrien Dewani, on Monday of charges that he paid hit men to kill his wife, while they were on honeymoon in Cape Town four years ago.

State prosecutors had argued that Dewani paid 15,000 Rand ($1,300) in a plot with taxi driver Zola Tongo and others to kidnap and murder his wife, Anni, in November 2010, charges he has consistently denied.

Three South Africans, who had implicated Dewani as part of a plea bargain for reduced sentences, are serving lengthy jail terms for her murder.

“The application is granted. The accused is found not guilty on this charge,” Judge Jeanette Traverso told a packed courtroom.
Dewani is expected to be released and could fly home to Britain later on Monday.

Anni Dewani’s family said they were “deeply disappointed” with the judge’s decision, especially because Shrien never had to take the stand to give his version of events.

“Today, we feel as a family that the justice system has failed us,” Anni’s sister, Ami Denborg, told reporters outside the courtroom as family members wept nearby.

Traverso earlier said Tongo, the prosecution’s chief witness, gave a testimony “riddled with contradictions” and it was difficult to know where “the lies end and the truth begin”.

She added that the evidence provided by two hitmen also convicted of Anni Dewani’s murder, “contradict Mr Tongo on about every aspect of their interaction”.

Prosecutors had argued that Dewani agreed to pay for a staged hijacking in Gugulethu Township on the edge of Cape Town.

Mziwamadoda Qwabe, a South African serving 25 years in jail for murdering Anni Dewani, told the court he commandeered the car in which the Dewanis were traveling.

Police later found her body in the back seat, with a single gunshot wound to the neck.

Dewani lost a three-year legal battle in Britain to avoid being extradited to and tried in South Africa.

His trial is the second high-profile case this year to turn the spotlight on South Africa’s judicial system and high murder rate.

A Pretoria high court in October sentenced Olympic and Paralympic runner Oscar Pistorius to five years in jail for shooting dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

More than 17,000 people were murdered in South Africa between April 2013 and March 2014, an increase of about 800 over the previous year, according to police figures.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) was established by the Federal Government of Nigeria in May 1976 to gather and distribute news on Nigeria and cover events of interest to Nigeria at the international level for the benefit of the Nigerian Media and the Public.

2 Comments

  1. oj

    December 10, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    Dowry killing: brides are murdered or driven to suicide by continuous harassment and torture by husbands and in-laws in an effort to extort an increased dowry. India has the highest rate of such killings. even Bollywood films have hinted on such practice, I recall watching an indian film where an aunt was telling a prospective groom and his parents to marry her niece and kill her a week after collecting her dowry.

    If this man is guilty, then it’s a pity.

    • Anon

      December 10, 2014 at 4:53 pm

      This wasn’t a dowry killing. He’s a millionaire from a very good and mega rich home. British born and bred Indian who married a Swedish born and bred Indian. They’re not Indians living in India.
      The prosecution failed to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt and he was set free. The Law is the Law. Sad for her family. He’s now back home as a free man and I hope his family will allow him to live his chosen lifestyle and not one enforced on him.

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