Honeymoon horror: Newlywed Briton's wife is killed after armed robbers hijack them in taxi
By Ian Evans, DailyMail.UK
Last updated at 10:04 AM on 15th November 2010
The wife of a British tourist has been murdered on honeymoon in South Africa by armed robbers who hijacked the taxi she and her husband were travelling in.
Anni Dewani, 28, was two nights into the holiday with millionaire businessman Shrien Dewani, 30.
The newlyweds were driving to their hotel at 11pm on Saturday when their taxi was stopped by two men in one of Cape Town’s impoverished townships.
After forcing the driver out, the robbers sped off with the terrified couple, who were married only two weeks ago.
An hour later, they released Mr Dewani unharmed about five miles from the hijack scene after robbing him.
His wife’s body was later found in another of Cape Town’s slums, slumped on the back seat of the abandoned minibus. Unconfirmed reports suggested she had been shot.
The couple are from Bristol, where last night Mr Dewani’s family created a Hindu shrine to his wife at their detached house in an upmarket suburb.
Distraught relatives gathered to pray and comfort each other.
Mr Dewani’s brother Preyen said: ‘We are devastated. We are still in shock. The body is being taken to the morgue as I speak.’
Last night police in South Africa gave more details about the tragedy. Colonel Andre Traut said Mrs Dewani and her husband, who runs a string of nursing homes across the South West, had spent the day touring the Cape region’s vineyards.
They then had supper at a restaurant in the upmarket suburb of Somerset West, 30 miles from Cape Town.
Their route back to central Cape Town would have taken them past some of the city’s ramshackle townships, which house many of the city’s poorest black population.
While the townships are generally considered no-go areas for tourists, some of their restaurants and bars have gained a reputation as lively places to eat and drink.
It is believed that, as they drove past the Guguletu township, the couple decided to take a diversion into the area to experience the nightlife.
They may have become lost trying to find Mzoli’s Meat, an outdoor barbecue restaurant and bar which bills itself as an ‘authentic taste of township life’.
TV chef Jamie Oliver visited it last year. But Colonel Traut said the taxi was waved down by the gun-toting men.
He said Mr Dewani, who has relatives in South Africa, was released from the taxi in the nearby Harare area, adding: ‘After seeking the assistance of a passing motorist, he was taken to Harare police station unharmed.
‘An extensive search for the vehicle and the female victim resulted in the discovery of the hijacked vehicle, with the female victim’s body on the back seat. An autopsy will later reveal the exact cause of her death.’
Local guesthouse owner Liziwes Ngcokoto said: ‘The cops said they badly wanted to catch who did it and lock them up. I hope they are caught soon.’
South Africa has one of the worst crime rates in the world, but most problems occur in the poorest areas where tourists are unlikely to stray.
Although there were 14,915 car-jackings there last year, they are a rare occurrence in the Western Cape region, which has less crime than much of the rest of South Africa.
Yesterday, Western Cape economic minister Alan Winde said: ‘We are obviously devastated by the tragedy.
‘This is absolutely shocking and terrible and the police are working very hard to catch these killers.
‘We thought we had got these days behind us.’
He said Mr Dewani had been given counselling and accommodation.
» » » » [DailyMail.UK]
South African townships still dangerous post apartheid
Township visits are now celebrated as a legitimate tourist experience, but travelling at night through these underlit and overcrowded areas is tempting fate, says Graham Boynton.
Graham Boynton, Group Travel Editor
12:47PM GMT 15 Nov 2010
Cape Tourism, the South African province's very professional tourism promotion arm, is unequivocal in encouraging foreign visitors to travel out to the notorious Cape Flats and visit the Gugulethu township.
According to its brochure "the community has embraced the tourism industry, so there is no shortage of restaurants, jazz clubs and B&Bs.
"For the more intrepid traveller," the brochure trills, "take a ride in a taxi or even visit a traditional healer."
I have been in and out of South Africa's townships for decades, from the dark and dangerous days of apartheid - when it really was an edgy, front line experience - to more recent times, where township tourism is celebrated as a legitimate tourist experience. I certainly would not drive around Gugulethu or any of the other Cape townships on a Saturday night.
I last stayed overnight in a township five years ago, in Vicky's B&B in Khayelitsha, right beside Gugulethu. It is the most advertised township B&B in South Africa and travellers from all over the world stay in this "humble shack made out of tree trunks, corrugated iron and hardboard".
I found it a singularly unedifying experience and did not find the streets around Vicky's particularly safe for inexperienced foreigners. I was particularly concerned for a young Dutch backpacker who was staying at Vicky's at the same time. She was oblivious to any potential dangers and went out drinking alone at a nearby shebeen because she said she wanted to "hang out with real South Africans."
I left early the following morning and as far as I know nothing untoward happened to her. However, the people who picked me up and took me to Cape Town – and they were black South Africans – said they thought I was crazy staying in a township overnight, even at a famous establishment such as Vicky's.
South Africa's crime statistics make frightening reading – more than 18,000 people are murdered there every year. Very few victims are foreign visitors, but it does seem to be tempting fate to travel through these overcrowded, underlit townships on a Saturday night, whatever the brochures say.
» » » » [Telegraph.UK]
Honeymoon horror makes world news
November 15 2010 at 09:30am
News of the killing of a British tourist was all over the UK media on Monday morning, with newspapers reminding readers of South Africa's high “carjacking” and murder rates.
The Daily Mail website announced the story with the headline:
“Honeymoon horror: Newlywed Briton's wife is killed after robbers hijack them in taxi”.
It reported that Anni Dewani, 28, and “millionaire businessman” Shrien Dewani, 30, were from Bristol and got married two weeks ago.
The Daily Mail said after they had supper in the “upmarket suburb of Somerset West” on Saturday night, the couple decided on their way back to “experience the nightlife” in Gugulethu township.
“Their route back to central Cape Town would have taken them past some of the city’s ramshackle townships, which house many of the city’s poorest black population,” reported the Daily Mail.
“While the townships are generally considered no-go areas for tourists, some of their restaurants and bars have gained a reputation as lively places to eat and drink.
“It is believed that, as they drove past the Gugulethu township, the couple decided to take a diversion into the area to experience the night life.”
The couple was hijacked and while the husband was dropped off unharmed, his wife's body was found in the car a few hours later.
The Daily Mail said: “South Africa has one of the worst crime rates in the world, but most problems occur in the poorest areas where tourists are unlikely to stray.”
The Guardian newspaper's website also reported on the story, saying that tourists were “rarely” crime victims in South Africa.
“South Africa has one of the highest crime rates in the world, with an average of 46 murders a day. The majority take place in townships, and tourists are rarely the victims,” said The Guardian.
“A huge increase in security for this summer's World Cup helped ensure there were few serious incidents.
“Last year, there were 13 902 carjackings in South Africa, down from 14 915 in 2008-09. The annual murder rate fell by 8.6 percent to dip below 17 000 for the first time since nationwide records began in 1995-96,” reported The Guardian.
Broadcaster BBC and The Telegraph also reported in the incident, which drew many comments from online readers.
“Jules”, from California in the United States, said of South Africans on the Daily Mail website: “The bottom line is until these people decide to help themselves, nothing will change.”
“Austin”, also from the United States, added: “Of all the beautiful places in the world, WHY would anyone in their right minds go for a honeymoon in such a vile, god-forsaken place?”
Several ex-pats commented out of Australia, saying they left South Africa to ensure safe lives for their children, and that the country was a “mess”.
South African-based readers, however, were less sympathetic.
“What the 'frikkadel' (meat ball) were they doing in a township?,” asked Carina on news24.com.
“If I go to another country I wouldn't go into their slums and expect to be safe. Now the whole of Cape Town gets a bad rep,” she added. - Sapa
» » » » [IOL :: DailyMail.UK]
Police continue hunt for killers of newlywed UK tourist
A manhunt would continue for the men who killed a newlywed British woman after she and her husband were hijacked in Gugulethu over the weekend, Western Cape police said today.
Lieutenant Colonel Andre Traut said there were no developments so far.
The 28-year-old woman and her 31-year-old husband had been married for two weeks when they were attacked by two armed men, who hijacked their shuttle service vehicle at the intersection of NY108 and NY112 around 11pm on Saturday.
They arrived in the country on Thursday and were in Cape Town for their honeymoon.
The couple was apparently returning from a dinner in Somerset West at the time of the attack.
Two armed men forced the driver out of the shuttle vehicle and drove off with the couple.
Around midnight they dropped off the husband in the Harare area of the Khayelitsha informal settlement.
He was assisted by passing motorists who took him to the Harare police station.
A search for the hijacked vehicle – a Volkswagen Sharan – led to it being found in Lingelethu West.
The kidnapped wife’s dead body was found on the back seat of the vehicle.
The attackers are still at large.
>> Anyone with information can contact investigating officer Colonel Riaan Theron on 082-463-8706, or Crime Stop on 08600-10111.
» » » » [City Press]
Cape warns on ‘unsafe areas’
November 15 2010 at 01:28pm
Cape Argus, IOL
Cape Town authorities on Monday called on the tourism industry to caution visitors not to enter “unfamiliar areas” of the city, especially at night.
This follows the killing of a British tourist after she and her husband were hijacked in Gugulethu on Saturday night. The newly-wed couple, who arrived in Cape Town on Friday, were on honeymoon.
“We are appealing to the tourism industry and the public to be vigilant around tourism safety, and to caution visitors not to enter unfamiliar areas, especially at night,” Cape Town mayoral committee member for economic development and tourism, Felicity Purchase, said in a statement issued by Cape Town Tourism (CTT).
In a separate statement, Cape Town Mayor Dan Plato said he was outraged by the killing.
“I am outraged at this disgraceful, wanton act of violence. The unnecessary loss of life is a blow to all Capetonians and South Africans and we are all deeply saddened and troubled by it.
“An incident such as this tarnishes our city's reputation as a tourist destination, and it will have a negative ripple effect which we will all feel.”
Plato said he had instructed the city's metro police to supply the SA Police Service “with all the assistance that they may require to speedily close this case”.
CTT CEO Mariette du Toit-Helmbold called on the public to warn visitors to the city about the dangers of walking its streets after dark.
“We are appealing to the public to extend the hospitality we showed visitors during the World Cup by taking joint responsibility for tourism safety, especially over the next few months.
“Capetonians are asked to assist in warning tourists about the dangers of walking around with obvious valuables on their person, and to steer them away from walking around alone after dark,” she said. - Sapa
» » » » [IOL]