Wednesday, December 15, 2010
DEWANI: Version 2..this time it was at Anni's suggestion
Honeymoon couple's families promised 'all resources' to catch killers of Anni Dewani
Alex Duval Smith
in Cape Town and
Monday 15 November 2010 15.14 GMT
Shrien Dewani and his wife Anni, who was found dead in the couple's car near Cape Town. Photograph: SWNS
South African police chiefs have called for residents of a township near Cape Town to help track down the "useless scoundrels" who on Saturday killed a bride on honeymoon with her British husband.
Anni Dewani, 28, a Swedish-born engineer, who had been married for less than two weeks to 31-year-old Shrien Dewani from Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol, was found murdered in Cape Town's Khayelitsha township.
Last night, Shrien Dewani spoke of how he was thrown from the car by the carjackers suspected of killing his wife, saying:
They told me they wouldn't hurt her."
Dewani spoke as the South African police minister, Nathi Mthethwa, and the police commissioner-general, Bheki Cele, issued a joint statement pledging that "all resources" would be deployed to "speedily bring the perpetrators of this despicable crime to book".
Mindful of the positive image South Africa gained from hosting a relatively crime-free World Cup, they said: "As government we remain firm that such selfish actions shall not deter us from our determination to keep our society safe from useless scoundrels."
Speaking from Cape Town, her husband said he had
"an enormous amount of guilt over the whole episode", but said it was "difficult to see how we could have done things differently".
The Dewanis, who arrived in Cape Town last Friday after their wedding in India, had supper in Somerset West, 30 miles from Cape Town, and had begun the journey back to the luxury Cape Grace hotel where they were staying.
Shrien Dewani said Anni had suggested taking a look "at the 'real Africa'" on the way back to their accommodation
but when the couple's taxi stopped at traffic lights in the Gugulethu township, near a notorious settlement known as Barcelona, the vehicle was attacked by two gunmen.
"They put a gun in my ear and pulled back the trigger – it really was the stuff of movies
Dewani told the Daily Mail. "
The two men kept saying: 'We are not going to hurt you. We just want the car.' That was a lie.
Most of the conversation in the car was us pleading for us to be dumped together. I held on to Anni as I said to them: 'Look, if you're not going to hurt her, then why don't you let us go?'
Dewani said the men forced him out of the rear passenger window in the middle of the township and said they would release Anni – who Dewani said "loved life and was always, always happy" – a few minutes later.
Anni Dewani was found with three bullets in her chest in the back seat of the taxi, according to her family.
Anni's father, Vinod Hindocha, arrived in Cape Town from Sweden today, and Shrien's South African relatives travelled from King William's Town in Eastern Cape province to be with him. "It is awful. She was the most beautiful girl that existed," Hindocha said.
Police confirmed today that the couple's driver was helping with inquiries.
South African police confirmed that two men with handguns had ambushed the silver Volkswagen Sharan hired by the Dewanis.
Shrien said that after he was thrown out of the car he waved down a vehicle that took him to Harare police station, in Khayelitsha township.
"He called us from there and told us what had happened," said Anni's sister, Mishalli, from the family home in the southern Swedish town of Mariefred. "At the time we all still hoped she would be found alive."
Police found the car on Sunday morning parked in Ilitha Park, Khayelitsha.
Anni was of Ugandan-Asian descent and worked until February this year for Ericsson in the Swedish capital, Stockholm. She had planned to move to Britain and help Shrien, a businessman running nursing homes in south-west England.
South Africa has one of the highest crime rates in the world, with an average of 46 murders a day. Last year there were nearly 14,000 carjackings. But most crime is confined to the townships, and tourists who stay out of the poorest areas at night usually manage to avoid incidents.
Shrien Dewani left a well-paid job in the City of London to help create a string of luxury retirement and care homes for the elderly with his brother and father. Their company, PSP Healthcare, runs seven care homes across the south-west, and Shrien's brother, Preyen, was recently awarded the National Care Entrepreneur prize.
More than 600 people, many of them friends and family, have left tributes to Anni Dewani on the Facebook site. One friend, Rajen Shah, called Anni a "princess", adding: "Having been at your wedding, what has happened is unimaginable and still can't believe you are not present amongst us."
Another, Shivani Pala, wrote: "Dearest Anni, you looked beautiful on that day and I remember the way you smiled at me."
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