Tuesday, December 21, 2010

DEWANI: Monde Mbolombo

The latest claims coming out of South Africa about Westbury-on-Trym businessman Shrien Dewani are that a hotel receptionist helped hire the two gunmen who killed his wife.
Stories today suggest the man - Monde Mbolombo - would be a state witness if Mr Dewani was tried in South Africa where he is accused of plotting to kill 28-year-old Anni, to whom he had been married for just two weeks.

Reports say Mr Mbolombo has been offered a deal by which he would escape prosecution in return for his testimony.

Mrs Dewani was kidnapped and murdered last month after a carjacking in the shanty town of Gugulethu where there have reportedly been more than 700 murders in the past five years.

The driver of the Dewanis' taxi has been jailed for 18 years as part of a plea bargain after being convicted of murder, kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances and perverting the course of justice.

Two other men are in custody charged with Mrs Dewani's kidnap and murder.

The South African authorities, who claim Mr Dewani paid the taxi driver to arrange the hijack, have demanded his extradition but a judge in London last week granted him £250,000 bail with conditions including a home curfew and reporting daily to Southmead police station between 6pm and 8pm.

Mr Dewani, who runs care homes, was flanked by a number of police officers as he attended the station yesterday under the gaze of the press pack.

Meanwhile the impact this case is having on the reputation of South Africa is highlighted in a story on an SA website over the weekend. The headline reads: 'Shrien Dewani And The Death Of South African Wine And Tourism'.