Comment: Max Cliffords agenda is to 'prove the innocence' of Shrien Dewani through the media. One may ask what kind of person would no longer mention the victim and make the story all about the alleged conspirator in Anni's death , look no further than Englands PR Gurus Clarence Mitchell and Max Clifford ,better known as the Ambulance chasers. The longer this goes on the more guilty Shrien looks. To have not been by the side of his father in law when he had to listen to the words of the judge who spoke about those who killed his beautiful daughter, is dispicable. Shrien Dewani is innocent until proven guilty, but one observation stands out a mile Shrien Dewani is a liar and a coward.
South Africa, November 27,2010:The killing of Anni Dewani is still surrounded by controversy. Reporting by Caroline Gammell, Mike Pflanz and John Bingham
When Anni Dewani’s blood-soaked body was found slumped in the back of a taxi in a South African township on her honeymoon, there was nothing but sympathy for her and her husband. Two weeks earlier, she and Shrien Dewani had married in a lavish Hindu ceremony in Mumbai, surrounded by family and friends.
A Daily Telegraph investigation has uncovered that he was engaged once before, in 2008, but ended the relationship after a couple of months.He found a second potential bride this June and pictures of them in their wedding regalia showed them beaming with pride with their arms wrapped around each other. Released shortly after Mrs Dewani’s death, the photographs illustrated just how Mr Dewani’s perfect life had crumbled overnight.
Yet as the high-profile police investigation into Mrs Dewani’s death continues, questions about what happened on the night of November 13 remain unanswered. Mr Dewani has strenuously denied any involvement.
Such has been the speculation in South Africa and Britain about who might be responsible that Mr Dewani has hired the publicist Max Clifford to cope with the intense media attention.
Mr Dewani met Swedish-born Anni Hindocha, of Asian-Ugandan descent, last year after she came to Britain to stay with her cousin Sneha, who was living in Luton.
Mrs Dewani grew up in Mariestad, Sweden, graduated in engineering and was working for Eriksson in Stockholm before she decided to move to the UK. It was during one of her trips to Britain that she met her future husband and they got engaged in June.
Mr Dewani’s first fiancée was Rani Kansagra, now 26, a British Asian, whose father, Bhupendra “Bhulo” Kansagra, has links to Kenya. Miss Kansagra works in London and lives in Middlesex. She met Mr Dewani in 2008 and they became engaged after a couple of months. They held a small celebratory party in December, inviting their closest friends and family.
However, in February 2009, the relationship fell apart and Mr Dewani, from Westbury-on-Trym, brought it to an end. “Their personalities just didn’t work out,” said a source. “They knew each other only relatively shortly. Perhaps that didn’t help.”
A relative of Miss Kansagra who attended the engagement party said Mr Kansagra had tried to intervene to make the relationship work. “It was a bit surprising how quickly it happened and then ended,” they said. “Of course he tried to talk to Shrien, but there was no going back, he had made up his mind. I think it was just one of those things that was not to be.” They have not seen each other since.
A year and a half later, Mr Dewani became engaged to Anni Hindocha and they planned a traditional wedding in India, with the intention that she would move in with her husband when they returned to the UK.
But first they had their honeymoon in South Africa to enjoy with four days’ safari in the Kruger National Park before relaxing at the five-star waterfront Cape Grace hotel in Cape Town.
November 13 and 14
After a day lounging round the hotel pool, a driver took them for a tour around Cape Town before they dined in Somerset West, a suburb 30 miles away. On the way back to their hotel, their driver, Zola Tongo, took the couple to the township of Gugulethu.
While their silver Volkswagen Sharan paused at a traffic light two armed men approached the car and started banging on the windows.
With a gun pointed to his head, Mr Dewani said he handed over their digital camera, his £2,000 Rado watch, mobile phone, £500 in cash and Mrs Dewani’s jewellery, including her engagement ring.
Mr Dewani said Mr Tongo was pulled out of the car and a few minutes later, despite trying to save his sobbing wife, he was bundled out as well. Dumped uninjured in a township, Mr Dewani said he banged on some nearby shacks to raise the alarm.A police helicopter was scrambled to find his wife, and her body was discovered in the taxi the next morning.
November 16 and 17
Relatives on both sides of the family flew to South Africa to comfort Mr Dewani. A post-mortem concluded that his wife had died from a gunshot to the neck. She had not, as was feared, been sexually assaulted.
Her body was flown back to Britain on November 17, accompanied by her husband. South African police said “all resources” would be poured into finding her killers.
The day before he left South Africa, Mr Dewani spoke of his horror at the murder, and said it was his wife’s idea to go to the township.
“She had never been to Africa before, so she suggested that we should have a look at the ‘real Africa’.” Describing how he was thrown from the taxi, he said: “They eventually forced me out the back of the passenger window as the car was moving.”
Within days, two men were arrested and charged with murder and it did not take long for the couple’s driver, Mr Tongo, to join them.
November 20 and 21
As Mrs Dewani’s funeral was held in Britain, uncertainty about the case started to emerge. Police sources in South Africa started briefing local media that the shooting was not random and the investigation was turning towards a “planned hit”.
Rodney de Kock, prosecuting the case, said Mr Tongo was to become a “state witness” – admitting involvement in the carjack in exchange for information. Several reports claimed Mr Dewani was wanted to assist with an identity parade and started referring to the attack as an “apparent carjack”.
Tour guides questioned the sense of driving into a township so late at night, while in the UK, Mr Dewani’s business affairs were investigated.A report claiming PSP Healthcare - the care home service run with his brother and father, Prakash – was £6.25 million in debt, proved to be false. However, accounts showed the company was £4.1 million in debt, which prompted the family to ask their auditors to make a statement about the financial health of the company.
Mike Dunkley, of Dunkley’s chartered accountants, was unequivocal: “We have absolutely no cause for any concern with the trading position of the company, its funding strategy or its financial standing.”
Mr Dewani decided to hire the services of Max Clifford. Sources close to Mrs Dewani’s family were quoted as saying that any suggestion her husband had been involved was “outrageous”.
Meanwhile, her father Vinod said he loved Mr Dewani “like a son” and insisted he would support him through the “horrendous ordeal”.
After several days of speculation, Mr Dewani gave an interview in which he categorically denied any involvement in his wife’s death. “I searched high and low for my perfect partner,” he said. “Anni was the one… why would I want to kill her?
“Saying I was somehow involved defies logic. Anni wasn’t on any life insurance policies and we hadn’t even made a will. I had no motive – financial or otherwise. I loved her and still love her.”
He insisted it was their driver, not his wife, who suggested the township trip. He also said he was thrown from the car while stationary, not moving as he had described a week before. He added that he and his wife had been held for 40 minutes before he was bundled out, 20 minutes longer than in his first account.
Mrs Dewani’s uncle, Ashok Hindocha, voiced his concerns about the investigation and said the police should dig deeper. “Tourists don’t just get killed. Especially the girls, that’s a question we need the answer to.”
The following day, Mr Hindocha urged the police not to rule anyone out of the investigation and challenged Mr Dewani to return to South Africa. “If it was my wife who was murdered I would jump into a plane, go there and ask those people, ‘Why did you kill my wife and for what?’ This is a question that not only the Hindocha family but millions of people around the world would like to know.”
With questions being raised by the Hindocha family, Preyen Dewani – brother of Mr Dewani - issued a statement via Mr Clifford saying his brother feared he would be wrongly implicated to save the reputation of South Africa. “He is fully aware of the false accusations and the possibility that by attaching blame to him, the people may divert this matter away from concerns over the security of South Africa.”
Mr Clifford said his client was still not a suspect and had not been asked to return to South Africa, but was heavily sedated and under the watchful eye of his doctor.
November 26 and 27
Mr Clifford was forced to deny the unsubstantiated media suggestion that the police were now considering Mr Dewani as a possible suspect. Police said they were “aware” of the reports but declined to comment.
Lawyers for two of the men charged over the murder said an identity parade was to be held today and Mr Dewani was expected to attend.Mr Clifford insisted again that his client had not been asked to go back, but added South Africa was “the last place in the world” he would want to go unless it would help him find his wife’s killers.
It remains to be seen whether Mr Dewani will be asked to return to the place that has been the cause of so much grief.