The Day Of the Murder
Saturday, 13th November was another beautiful morning in Cape Town. Anni and Shrien both appeared carefree on CCTV footage as they head down for a late breakfast. Tongo said that he heard from Shrien, asking him to pick him up at the hotel. But phone records shows that there was no call whatsoever. This is simply not true.
The Money Trail
Half an hour after the phantom phone call Tongo arrived at the Cape Grace Hotel. Shrien wanted to change dollars. Instead of a reputable foreign exchange Tongo took him to a seedy black market money exchange in the CBD. The owner told police Shrien exchanged 1500 pounds for R10 200. Add that to the money Shrien has already cashed he would have had R21 500.
Yet the money trail could be a massive problem for South African prosecutors. There are enormous questions around the money. There is no proof that it was ever handed over to the gunmen. The money just seems to vanish. It no longer seems a factor in the post crime benefits.
They returned to the Cape Grace Hotel in 10 minutes. Tongo claim Shrien told him in this time how he wanted the murder carried out. He said he wanted Anni kidnapped and robbed before she was murdered. But there was not sufficient time between these two men to really plan anything tight. So much would be left purely to chance.
Tongo claims that Dewani offered him R5000, that is over and above the R15 000 for the killer. The taxi drivers’ monthly wages were three times that of the money he was offered for the killing. Besides working for taxi company he also had his own private operation running from the parking lot of the Collosseum Hotel in Century City.
After Tongo dropped Shrien off at the hotel, he picked up the middle man and dropped him off at work at Century City. Its now Saturday 14h26. Mbolombo apparently asks for the first time why a hitman is needed. Tongo’s phone rings. He claims its Shrien and said: “Yeah I am on my way.”, according to Mbolombo’s testimony. After the call ended Tongo says to Mbolombo: “Eish, this guy doesn’t trust me.”
Yet the phone records will show that Shrien made NO such call to Tongo. So again Mbolombo is lying.
Shrien Dewani now has R10900 cash on his person. Why would he need so much money, if it wasnt to pay Anni’s killers?
It turns out that he had been planning to surprize Anni. His plan, a romantic helicopter trip the next day. As Tongo drops Mbolombo off at work the R10 000 helicopter flight is all the staff are talking about! Mbolombo is heard on CCTV footage making a comment about “the rich people, the Dewani’s”
In the police docket this has never been followed up on by the police.
There is no evidence that Tongo told Shrien about the hijacking plot in the township. Not once after the gunmen met Tongo did the taxi driver ever call Shrien to tell him the plan to kill Anni is in place for that night. Would they all have left so much to chance?
In the hotel the honeymoon couple now posed for pictures, and kiss each other, repeatedly in public.
Meanwhile Mbolombo who maintains he only put the players in touch is revealed to be far more involved. He is overheard in the back office of the hotel saying “This is how it is going to happen…” Phone records show he was talking to Tongo. What emerges next cast serious doubts over the decision to grant him immunity.
Mbolombo seems to be the one in charge. He is clearly heard saying: “Listen, don’t give them it all up front. Give them what you’ve got on you, so they don’t come crying to you. You must take your share as well.”
So why is he still a free man?
From the hotel Shrien called Tongo, who is now late for their arranged pick up. But Tongo gives a very different account. According to William Da Grass, Zola Tongo’s lawyer, Dewani wanted to know what the delay was and insisted that the act be perpetrated that very same night. But police has got CCTV footage of that exact call. Shrien is sitting with Anni beside him at that time. She is to his left, he is holding his phone to his left ear. He shows no sign of agitation. And according to Tongo, he insists on Anni’s murder while she sits right next to him, within hearing distance of the phone call.
Tongo finally arrives, half an hour late at 19h59. If Shrien is expecting Anni to be killed he showed no sign of it at all. He takes more pictures of his wife. They look and act like lovebirds. Tongo confirmed the couples relaxed mood continued in his taxi. They laugh a lot and appear to be very happy.
Dewani instructed the taxi driver to drive around in town as they wanted to see what the city looked like at night. Its not something that most people will find credible under these circumstances.
The hijack was suppose to take place in Gugulethu township, shortly after Tongo picked the couple up. But Tongo said when he drived by the gunmen weren’t there. Hijacker Qwambe revealed they had agreed to call it off. yet phone calls in the police docket shows calls between the hijackers, the middle man and the taxi driver continued. Mbolombo is heard hurrying up someone on the phone ending the conversation with: “Maybe by the time you get there, they’ll be there.”
Anni and Shrien arrived at a beach restaurant, called Surfside, in the Strand, a 45 minute drive out of town. Now the taxi driver claim that Shrien became furious that Anni’s murder had not yet been executed. He claimed Anni went inside while Shrien spoke to him outside. yet on the CCTV footage covering the restaurant’s entrance it shows the three of them walking towards the restaurant together, but its not Anni who heads in first, as Tongo claims – its Shrien. A waiter confirmed this. And there is NO time for the two men to have any kind of discussion, because eight seconds after Anni and Shrien goes into the Surfside Restaurant, Tongo calls the middleman Mbolombo.
At 9.56pm Shrien called Tongo, speaking for only 93 seconds, clearly to come back and pick them up. Shrien’s account seem to be far more plausible.
After driving away the taxi driver claims he texted Shrien at 10.40pm about the cash for the hitmen. He said Shrien text him back to say the money was in a pouch behind the front passenger seat.
The records in the police file did show Tongo texted Shrien, but there is no record that Shrien ever replied. This is another example of evidence that are suppose to incriminate Shrien that has nothing to back it up with, and appear to be totally false. Experts could not retrieve the actual text message. The prosecution is going to have to rely on Tongo’s word on what was said.
Shrien said, on their way back to Cape Town, they drove through a township area because “we had no reason to distrust him.”.
Tongo drove them into the heart of Gugulethu. And into the hands of Qwabe and Mgeni.
Next Page: The Hijack