Monday, April 2, 2012

#Dewani Murder : Dewani Tracked As Hit Loomed

Stills from closed-circuit TV cameras, published by a British newspaper, show murdered honeymoon tourist Anni Dewani an hour before her death.

London's Mail on Sunday published stills from surveillance camera footage yesterday morning that appear to show a far-from-close relationship between Anni and her husband, Shrien.

The pictures, taken at 9.33pm on the Saturday on which Anni was murdered last month, show Dewani walking through a Strand shopping centre with Anni trailing behind.

The two were accompanied by driver Zola Tongo, who was jailed last week for 18 years after he confessed to organising the murder and alleged that he had been asked to do so by Dewani, who is now fighting extradition to South Africa.

The newspaper also reported that CCTV footage newly obtained from the Cape Grace hotel, at which the couple stayed, cast new light on Dewani's alleged involvement in the murder.

It shows that he spent more than 10 minutes alone with Tongo the day before the murder.

Footage from the day of the murder showed Dewani and Tongo leaving the hotel together and returning 45 minutes later.

It also showed the Dewanis approaching the hotel swimming pool, Dewani wearing a T-shirt, shorts and sandals.

At 12pm, he left Anni at the pool, went to his room to change into trousers and a shirt, and left the hotel with Tongo, whose car was parked outside.

The two set off for the city centre and were filmed returning 45 minutes later.

Tongo said they went to a black-market foreign-exchange dealer for money with which to pay the hit men - and this, Tongo claimed, was when Dewani told him that he wanted his wife killed.

On his return to the hotel, cameras show Dewani running down a corridor to his room, emerging minutes later in shorts and sandals, and returning to the pool.

Other footage shows Dewani meeting Tongo two days after the murder.

Tongo alleges that that was when he was paid for organising the killing.

There are also pictures of Dewani, his father and father-in-law in the reception area of the hotel.

Hotel cameras picked up both Dewani and Tongo speaking on their cellphones, Dewani on the back terrace of the hotel and Tongo in his car near the entrance - and the two of them heading for the city centre.

Dewani was carrying a white plastic bag.

Tongo was later pictured with a "package clearly hidden under his shirt".

The Sunday Times reported yesterday that Dewani negotiated a hefty discount for a night at the R6000-a-night Chitwa Chitwa lodge at the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, adjoining the Kruger National Park, by pretending to be a travel consultant.

The lodge's marketing manager, Angela Ciuchini, said yesterday: "We're definitely considering [legal action].

We are seeking advice about what to do in a situation like this."

Ciuchini said that, when the news broke of Anni's murder, lodge staff checked "all the correspondence" with him.

The Dewanis stayed at the lodge for three nights.

One night was discounted after a profile of the travel company Dewani claimed to represent was sent to the lodge.

But "the website does not exist", Ciuchini later discovered.


Shrien Dewani has denied involvement in the murder of Eastern Cape doctor Pox Raghavjee, though he allegedly boasted to his driver, Zola Tongo, that he had previously organised a killing in the guise of a hijacking in South Africa.

After national police commissioner Bheki Cele said officers were investigating the possibility of a link between Dewani and the Raghavjee murder, the UK's Sunday Telegraph reported Dewani's spokesman as saying that the latest claim was "a fabrication" and his client was a victim of a politically motivated campaign to protect South Africa's tourism industry.

Raghavjee was killed in what was taken to be a hijacking, but neither his car nor any of his possessions were stolen.

Dewani's publicist, Max Clifford, reportedly said: "The South African police are orchestrating a politically motivated smear campaign to protect their tourism industry. It's a total fabrication. How flimsy and ridiculous this whole thing is. If it weren't so tragic it would be a farce, a comedy."

Clifford told the Sunday Telegraph that Raghavjee's wife, Heather, did not meet Dewani until after the murder of his wife, Anni. Clifford insisted that Dewani had not been to South Africa before.

Clifford said Dewani was "petrified" of returning to a country in which he believed he would not receive a fair trial.

The newspaper reported Heather Raghavjee as saying: "We came to Cape Town to give support to [Dewani] and his parents." - Staff reporter