Sunday, January 23, 2011

DEWANI: Before TONGO became a suspect...POLICE have BOTH cell phones

National police commissioner Bheki Cele hit back yesterday when one UK reporter asked for assurances that no tourists would be killed in South Africa and another questioned him about whether murdered British tourist Anni Dewani was sexually assaulted.

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National Police Commissioner Bheki Cele
National Police Commissioner Bheki Cele
Photograph by: Trevor Samson
quote 'I'm saying you act as if you are crimeless' quote

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Cele was holding a press conference on policing in Western Cape when the Dewani murder became a focal point.

Questions about whether Dewani's husband, Shrien, was a suspect, whether she had been raped and the motive for the attack were fired at Cele by reporters.

The couple, who were in Cape Town for their honeymoon, were hijacked in Gugulethu on Saturday night.

One British journalist asked: "Do you think Cape Town is a safe place for tourists? If so, can you assure us that no other tourists will get killed?"

Cele responded that there were dangerous areas in London too.

"I was in London a month before the World Cup. I requested my driver to take me to Brixton," he said.

"He [the taxi driver] refused. He said to me, 'Either the car will come back or won't come back, or you and the car won't come back'. I reported to my principals that the driver didn't want to take me to Brixton and those principals agreed with him," said Cele.

"Are you comparing London's crime stats to your crime stats?" asked the journalist.

Cele hit back: "We are dealing with an international phenomenon - crime is an international phenomenon. The cars we are dealing with in the port of Durban - all, without fail, come from London," he said, clearly irritated.

"The Porsche ... yes, don't shake your head. Those cars were stolen from London. Don't shake your head! I am saying to you, you act as if you are crimeless where you come from. You are not crimeless."

Cele was referring to stolen cars valued at R80-million that were illegally shipped to South Africa and seized by authorities this week.

Another journalist asked whether there was a "sexual element" in Dewani's murder.

Cele said the post mortem revealed no evidence of sexual assault.

But the journalist persisted.

"I hope we are dealing with an interview, not an interrogation, I hope so. We are dealing with interviews not interrogation. The investigation of this crime is not closed, all leads and possibilities will be further investigated," said Cele.

Early yesterday, 26-year-old Xolile Mngeni appeared in the Wynberg Regional Court on charges of murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances.

Cele confirmed that another 26-year-old Khayelitsha man had been arrested in connection with Dewani's murder.

He said Dewani's husband was not a suspect but police would work with the UK authorities if they needed to question the husband.

Cele said police recovered a bangle, a watch and two cellphones taken from the couple.

He said the taxi driver is not a suspect.