Her wedding had been a lavish affair. Her murder just two weeks later shrouded in controversy.
What evidence did South Africa have that Shrien Dewani was behind Anni’s shooting? Forensic experts, and the actual evidence reveal something shocking: It veers towards an accidental discharge rather than a murder for hire.
The South African police had made some guesses but forensic experts say they have not conducted tests to substantiate their claims. There was a cloud of suspicion over Shrien Dewani, rather than hard evidence that he was involved. Now in hindsight, in all probability he was framed by a gang of opportunistic local thugs.
It raises serious questions about the integrity of the South African Police and the justice system. Insiders say its starting to look like “We have to nail somebody, so lets just just go for it!”
So is Shrien Dewani a cold blooded killer, or an innocent man? Let’s review the evidence.
“I just got married to the girl of my dreams. Why would I want to kill her?” – Shrien Dewani
Sunday | 14 November 2010 | Cape Town
The murder victim was found in Sinkolonathi Street in a car, abandoned. Anni Dewani had been shot in the neck and left to bleed to death in a hijacked taxi. It was hours before she was found.
At an identity parade, three weeks after her death, three south african men were picked out. All three have since been convicted. But the South African police believe that one man is missing from this line up – Anni’s husband.
The case against Shrien? He lands in Cape Town, with Anni, and in little more than one hour arranges his wife’s murder with an unknown taxi driver. Thirty hours later, Anni was dead. No clear motive and highly unlikely by any stretch of the imagination.
The idea that Shrien organised the killing have generated huge interest and have dominated headlines all around the world. In fact South African Police and prosecutors seem to have made up their minds already…
But is this case really so clear cut? Truth is that independent investigations found that there are significant cracks in the South African version of events.
CCTV footage taken at the hotel where they were staying, reveal nothing more but a couple in a loving relationship. Hours of CCTV footage from the honeymooners’ hotel gives insight into key moments of the case.
The Murder Docket
The docket contains all the prosecutions evidence. Video confessions from the gunmen. That they fled the scene without establishing whether she was alive or not. Forensic evidence, crime-scene photographs, witness statements, phone and financial records. But there is not any credible evidence that Shrien Dewani was behind Anni’s killing.
The Couple, the Wedding, The Troubles…
Anni married Shrien on Friday, 29 October 2010 in Mumbai, India. It lasted three days and costed around 150 000 pounds. They had known each other for 18 months, and been engaged for five months.
But Anni’s family says that things changed between the engagement and the wedding. They had problems in their relationship. Ami Denborg, Anni’s sister claims he was controlling.
Anni herself revealed doubts as the wedding drew closer. The police files contains texts messages that she was sending a relative. “16 September 2010: Fighting a lot with Shrien. Wish I had never got engaged.” And on 21st September: “We have nothing in common. He is a perfectionist.” The worst on the 30th September 2010: “Hate him”.
The volatile state of the relationship forms a key part of the prosecution. Even though the 28year old said that she wanted a divorce just days before the honeymoon, the couple still flew to South Africa as planned, spending four days at the Kruger National Park.
While at the luxury safari lodge Anni texted again: “I’m really trying. He is a nice guy in all the ways, but I don’t feel happy at all. 10 November 2010” But a day later she texted: “It’s going better than before. Hard to explain but I’ll call you as soon as I return.” 11 November 2010. Anni now hated the word divorce. It sounded like a dramatic ease of the tension between them.
The next day, safari over, they flew to Cape Town. And so begin the chain of events that will end Anni’s life.
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