Sunday, January 2, 2011

DEWANI campaign shifts gear...cousin begs 'feel sorry for Shrien'...Max Cliffords work of course..seedy and pathetic..Shrien Dewani go back to SA and PROVE your innocence. at the moment you look like a wimpering coward. The Worlds eyes are on this case and SA would not be foolish enough to set you up. BUT Shrien you have lied and the question remains WHY?

Imagine being Shrien Dewani. No, really: imagine it. In a period of eight weeks, Shrien has been married, widowed, accused of murder, imprisoned and released on bail pending an application for his extradition to South Africa. Mercifully, that’s more than most people will experience in a lifetime.
But in reporting on events surrounding the murder of Shrien’s wife, Anni, on honeymoon in Cape Town, one guesses at how many commentators have imagined – even for a moment – what it is like to be Shrien, or a member of Shrien’s or Anni’s families at this time. Not many.
One is left wondering, therefore, at the lack of compassion – indeed, the total absence of moral sense – that has marked much reporting regarding those tragic events in November in Cape Town and beyond. After all, imagining what it is like to be someone other than yourself, says the novelist Ian McEwan, “is at the core of our humanity. It is the essence of compassion, and it is the beginning of morality.”
So let us imagine ourselves into the events. You are dancing at your wedding in Mumbai – your first dance – very happy, slightly awkward, like many couples before you and many after.
Now you are on honeymoon, on safari near Kruger National Park. Anni’s henna tattoos – so striking on your wedding day – are fading, but your wedding itself remains clear in the mind.

 You realise, guiltily, that you didn’t speak to everyone for as long as you’d like at the wedding, but that’s always the way, isn’t it? You meet a lovely couple at dinner after an evening safari drive and together you worry about mosquito bites and malaria.
Events shift gear and lurch sideways. You plead with the carjackers. Anni screams and screams. You can still hear her now; you will hear her that way for ever. But your driver has been thrown out of the car, and you are next to go, a cold gun pressed to your ear. You stand helpless by the side of the road, watching strange, violent men carry your beautiful wife off into the darkness. This will be the last time you see her alive, though you don’t know that now. What were your parting words?

Panicking and alone, achingly alone, you try to think clearly, quickly. You have no money, no phone. But here, now, you must find Anni. How? A man agrees to call the police. Though helpful, he doesn’t invite you into his home, so you wait in the dark. What crosses your mind as the minutes pass?

When the police car finally arrives, it cruises the streets slowly. Does no one understand the urgency? You call home, and they do all they can from England. The Foreign Office, private investigator, helicopter, what else, what else?

But this is not to be. Anni is found the next morning, dead in the back seat of the taxi. A bullet penetrated her hand, then her neck: the result of a struggle? There’s a clear grip mark on Anni’s lower leg, it later transpires. Was she assaulted before dying? You return to this question again and again, but the thought is too much to bear. Sometimes the mind must shut down to protect itself.

Indeed, shutting down and restarting turns out to be all you are capable of in the coming days and weeks, dosed on medication.

Those are the stuttering mechanics of extreme grief. You are joined in Cape Town by a blur of relatives and family friends; your phone bleeds with messages and texts. But your driver, Zola Tongo, stands apart from the rest, linked to you by a unique symmetry: of all the people you know, he alone was there. You are suspicious of him at first, but you come to like him. He helps the police, and he comforts you. Before leaving, you pay him for acting as your driver in Cape Town. What else could you do? The hotel’s CCTV cameras look on ambiguously, unblinking.

Now you are on a plane home. Anni’s body is repatriated in the hold of another plane. And now you are vulnerable, child-like, back with your parents in Bristol.

Here you are at a thanksgiving for Anni’s life, eating pizza and chips, her favourite food. Blink and you are pressing a button, which – unfathomably – will send your 28-year-old bride’s body into a crematorium furnace.

Then events lurch and shift gears again.
First, your friendly driver is implicated in Anni’s murder. Next he implicates you, and in return receives a seven-year reduction in sentence, with further possible reductions to follow. These are the desperate mechanics of justice.

The police arrive late at night. You are to attend an initial extradition hearing in London the following day. Your family stays up all night and hurriedly arranges lawyers. For you, two nights in Wandsworth prison await. Wandsworth prison! How did it come to this? Your psychiatrist is worried: you have not eaten or slept properly for some time.

You are a murdering “monkey”, says General Bheki Cele, South Africa’s National Commissioner of Police. Many have you looking already upon Oscar Wilde’s “little tent of blue which prisoners call the sky”. These people know nothing about you.

And now the real circus begins. “The German Master”, a cigar-chomping, leather-clad rent boy, claims he recognises you on TV as a former client. “What’s a rent boy?” asks your aunt.

 Courtesy of your friendly South African driver, further allegations emerge: according to him, you look like someone who arranged a hit in South Africa in the past. There is no substance to this allegation, notes the alleged victim’s widow, and the initial extradition hearings confirm you had never been to South Africa before your honeymoon. No matter: this is a feeding frenzy.

“Come back and let our courts determine the case,” says a now admonished Bheki Cele, in a cry echoed by many. But what are your chances of a fair trial in the land of General Cele? There are no jury trials in South Africa, remember.

Naturally, you cannot compute being tried at all, and you fear the potential weaknesses of judge-only proceedings, particularly as a UK national – an outsider – whose treatment by the South African police and the media has already been prejudicial. Your fears deepen when you hear that Judge John Hlophe, who sentenced your driver, and who may preside over any trial, is a controversial figure.

 Are you sure you will be treated fairly?

Writing in South Africa’s Times, journalist Anton Ferreira paints the picture “based on fact”. “Be afraid, Shrien Dewani, be very afraid.

 If you are extradited to South Africa, the police will treat you like an animal, cook up false evidence against you, and then throw you into an overcrowded jail ruled by gangs where you will rot for the rest of your life.”

This terrifying picture is lent weight by William Booth, chairman of the Criminal Law Committee of the Law Society of South Africa, who notes: “It’s been established in South Africa that there’s been manipulation of evidence [in other criminal cases] – that goes to the heart not only of the police investigation, but of the prosecution…

 The overcrowding in prisons, the gangster activity in prisons, [Shrien’s] right to have medical treatment – there’s very little medical treatment within prisons, we know that.”

Do you think you – an innocent man who needs psychiatric treatment for bereavement, not incarceration – would survive unharmed, or survive at all, in Pollsmoor, Cape Town’s notorious prison for defendants awaiting trial? Which of the various gangs called “The Numbers” do you want to join?

But wait, you’re getting ahead of yourself. Surely, the case will never get that far? One would hope not, but the UK’s extradition laws are weighted against you.

In actions for judicial review against a UK government body, our justice system contains a gatekeeping step: one cannot bring such an action without leave from the court, and one cannot obtain such leave if one’s claim has no real prospect of success. Our law does not, however, afford the same courtesy to UK citizens in extradition cases involving South Africa.

An individual can therefore be extradited without the South African authorities having to prove that the case against that individual has any real prospect of success. The authorities need not even provide evidence sufficient to establish a prima facie case. No wonder former Home Secretary David Blunkett recently conceded that the UK may have “given too much away” with its extradition law changes in 2003.

If Shrien Dewani is extradited to South Africa, it is our moral duty to ensure that he is treated humanely, and as an innocent man.

The British Government should work tirelessly to ensure this.

 Imagine you were Shrien. You should not have to set foot in a South African jail pending any trial. And you should be assured of justice, including a judge whose reputation is beyond question.

But the case should never get that far, of course.

“Journalists, do you know what?” asked Archbishop Desmond Tutu in South Africa recently. “You have a noble calling.”

Prove it to us, journalists. Prove it to all of us. Put the pieces together – they are waiting to be found. Forget rent-a-quote rent boys and spurious lies; forget racial slurs and dubious leaks. There is a prize for you here, too. That prize is the truth. It is Shrien Dewani’s innocence and his future. There is no greater prize than this. As Mahatma Gandhi once said: “Truth alone will endure; all the rest will be swept away before the tide of time.”

May these words be your comfort, Shrien and Anni.

 Akta Raja is a first cousin of Shrien Dewani. Both Akta and Andrew Jackson practised law in England before embarking on other careers
Comment : The above article , the idea of Max Clifford...he has to be careful for although he likes to connect this with the McCanns, he has a problem ,no one in the McCann clan defended Madeleine . Not one of them has any interest in what happened to this little girls fate even though they know there is a statement suggesting paedophilia amongst the group of Doctors...Dr.David Payne....Anni has friends and family who will defend her and not buckle, they want the truth and they intend to find out what happened to her. Seedy Max Clifford should bow out and let justice be served in a court of law.
Comments from article...Obviously Max's idea of a sob story has not worked we are also tired of the victim being forgotten. Anni Hindochi will not be forgotten and she will not become another Madeleine  her parents will make sure of it.
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8 seconds ago
I consider this piece in a responsible newspaper entirely inappropriate when the matter is the subject of continuing police investigations. There is a theme developing as to the competence of the South African authorities to handle the matter and that this is necessarily stacked against this man. In contrast I suspect those wishing to introduce matters which would do that here in Britain could find them. ergo: this should not be a matter of debate in the media at all.

8 minutes ago
This incident boggles the mind. A chap lands up in a city for the first time. meets a taxi driver and pays him a few hundred quid to kill his wife? Hello- can you take us around and I will give you a tip if you kill my wife..Ridiculous..

And if all this was indeed possible, then South Africa is more dangerous than imagined.

12 minutes ago
Why bother going to South Africa to determine the truth? It already seems to be known, albeit implicitly, by those posting comments here.

21 minutes ago
Recommended by
2 people
While complaining about the presumption of Shrien's guilt, this article makes the equal but opposite mistake of presuming his innocence. As you will have seen in the letter from "friends of Anni" there are definite and obvious questions that Shrien needs to answer. It will be very interesting to see what the SMS intercept evidence reveals. We do not know what this evidence contains as yet. The driver's claims hinge on it. Only once we, or the courts, are in the position to assess the full evidence will we be able to say anything for sure about Shrien's guilt or innocence.

32 minutes ago
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2 people
I would also imagine being a bride on my honey moon in a taxi with my husband and then suddenly waylaid by robbers. I can imagine being the parents of the bride who need answers about the death od a loving daughter who was in a taxi with her husband when she was taken by criminals and killee. I can I laso imagine being the sibling of the bride whose husband refuses to face those who accuse him of arranging the death of his wife.

Why do people always think that justice is only for the accused? What of the victim the poor girl who fell in loved married and committed to a relationship. The facts of this case is very clear and all that remains is for them be subjected to due process.
There is a saying that clear conscience fears no accusation and in truth there is no contradiction. Dewani should consider seriously the path of honour and go to South Africa and face those who accuse him of complexity in the death of his wife. This media campaign does nothing for image. Why would robbers take a woman if they are looking for money? There are questions which demand answers from the husband who I must say are in a very difficult position. South Africa has a robust legal system which is capable of scrutinizing the facts and evidence in this case. If Dewani would not go south Africa can he suggest a country where he would like to face his accuser?

36 minutes ago
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2 people
I am forever putting myself in Shrien Dewani's shoes and asking myself three simple questions.

Why didn't I use Jorvan Tours to ferry me around while we were in Cape Town? I had their card in my pocket, my family had recommended me to use them, they would have kept us quite deliberately safe.

Why, when we were staying at probably the best hotel in the city and when Cape Town has some of the greatest restaurants in the world, did I choose to drive out to Somerset West for a brief supper in a relatively unknown eatery, especially when I had so much money in my pocket?

Why, when all I cared about was my bride, did I allow us to be driven into a township at night without any guide? Why did I choose to ignore all that advice I and every other tourist to this country receives about the dangers of going off limits at night?

These questions have been troubling me much more than whether I may or may not receive a fair hearing in the 'Real Africa'. After all I'm not guilty. Am I?

Today 09:32 AM
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4 people
I agree with Sarel. This seems like the whole world cup stigma all over again. Everyone in the UK assumes South Africa is a lawless country but nothing could be further from the truth. We have an excellent legal system and one of the best modern constitutions in the world.

If Shrien is not guilty he should come here and prove his case.

Today 09:20 AM
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3 people
As a South-African I would like to make a few comments regarding this case.
1) This is not a total lawless country. I have lived here for 38 years and never came across a hitman. I really don't think every Taxi driver knows one. For Mr Dewani to meet one a few days after arriving here is highly suspicious.
2) Our law-system is very good. Lawyers are all highly skilled and 99% above suspicion. We don't see many judges in the news for unprofessional conduct(no more than I have seen in the UK).
3) If there is a problem with our system it is rather that criminals are treated too softly regarding sentencing.

Mr Dewani, if you are innocent, you will be proven innocent.
Just an afterthought...If you ever visit South-Africa, please stay away from areas where you notice the general public is absent. Any city and every country has areas where tourists should best stay away from.The first thoughts that crossed our minds when this news broke was " wtf were they doing in Gungulethu!! " I don't ever go anywhere near Gunguletu or other townships.Why don't you visit our lovely city,s and towns where you can roam the streets freely?

(Edited by author 1 hour ago)

3 minutes ago
I totally agree with you, having visited CT a few times.