Thursday, August 11, 2011

Anni #Dewani: What really happened with the memorial fund ?

1. A page was setup on JustGiving web site by Preyel Dewani to cash in on public sympathy at a time Dewani was paraded as a victim. The Mccans raised millions in a similar way, she probably was hoping for the same and got excited at the prospect.

2. Mostly public and Lohana community members donated. I recall seeing entries from £10-£25 and even a large one of £1000 with an English name. The total was £11,169 - with UK tax relief - before the page was cancelled.

Preyen Dewani came on the microphone at Anni's funeral ceremony and asked people to donate to. Baskets were sent round for cash collections. A lot of people donated. It is not revealed by Dewani's how much was collected or what happened to that cash collection. (It is unheard of to collect money at a Hindu funeral, most people were shocked and surprised, and many donated out of bewilderment and embarassment).

3. Since Dewani was named suspect, donations to the fund effectively stopped as nobody could trust the Dewani. The Dewanis and Clifford tried to revive this in early January with the media fanfare claiming they were building a school for Anni, jointly with the Hindocha family (a claim rubbished by Ashok Hindocha the next day). But still no more donations were forthcoming due to lack of trust in Dewani's.

4. Through their friends, the Dewani's tried to get relatives of the Hindocha family to join a trust to build up the fund for a school. But nobody wanted to deal with the Dewani's or have anything to do with them. Faced with the choice of having to cough up the balance of the money for the school themselves, the Dewani's instead decided to trash the whole project secretly and attempt to sweep it away.

5. The charity Sewa UK that was nominated by Preyal Dewani to front the fund raising is actually run by no one other than contacts of the Dewani's themselves, specifically Dhiraj M Shah and Dhiraj D Shah who - in their previous guise as HSS (using the same trading name Sewa UK) did a lot of work with NHSF where Shrien was General Secretary and where his family loved to boast that he was still actively involved after his student days.

Check UK charity number 1135425 - SEWA UK and UK Charity No: 267309 - HSS.

A check of the Charities Commission website proves that HSS has always been late in filing its accounts and returns, and its last years accounts are overdue. Sewa UK has never filed accounts yet and there was also the issue last month of the dysfunctional telephone number and email address. The telephone number given to the charities commission by them is that of a pharmacy in Birmingham.

As at today, has confirmed in writing they have not received a single penny from the memorial fund from Sewa UK. Their name and website was touted on the front of the collection page on JustGiving by Preyel Dewani.