South Africa murder: husband pleaded with carjackers
The husband of a newlywed murdered on her honeymoon in South Africa has described how he pleaded with armed carjackers not to separate him from his wife.
11:30PM GMT 15 Nov 2010
Shrien Dewani and his wife Anni had been married for just two weeks when their taxi was targeted in a township on the outskirts of Cape Town late on Saturday night.
The gunmen drove off with the couple inside the people carrier and forced Mr Dewani, 31, out of the window of the vehicle after driving around dark streets for 20 minutes.
With a gun held to his head, he was told that his partner would not be harmed.
The body of his 28-year-old Swedish wife was found the next morning.
"The first we knew that the cab was being attacked was when we heard the banging," Mr Dewani told the Daily Mail.
"I don't want to go into detail about what happened during the attack, because I will probably start crying. But they were so cold. They put a gun in my ear and pulled back the trigger - it really was the stuff of movies.
"The men kept on saying 'We are not going to hurt you. We just want the car.' That was a lie.
"Most of the conversation in the car was us pleading for us to be dumped together. I held on to Anni as I said to them 'Look, if you're not going to hurt her, why don't you let us go?"'
The couple, who married in India, spent the first four days of their honeymoon on safari in Kruger National Park before heading to a five-star hotel in Cape Town.
Mr Dewani, from Westbury-on-Trym, near Bristol, said they decided to venture outside of the normal tourist areas to see the "real Africa".
He said: "Anni grew up in Sweden, and she felt as if the area around this hotel was just like at home: so clean and safe, and maybe a bit sterile.
"She had never been to Africa before, so she suggested that we should have a look at the 'real Africa'."
He said they were being driven through the township of Gugulethu when they were attacked by two gunmen.
He was dumped in another township and alerted police. Officers believe they have estabilished the identity of the killers.
Mr Dewani, who owns a series of care homes, said his wife had recently graduated from a product design course at university in Sweden.
She was due to move to London after their honeymoon.
He added: "She loved people and she loved life and she was always, always happy."
Her father, Vinod Hindocha, told the Swedish newspaper Expressen: "It's just terrible. She was the most beautiful girl in the world."
Friends set up a Facebook tribute page called Memory of Anni Dewani which reads: "You are always in our hearts. We will remember you forever."
More than 3,100 people have joined the online group. One user, Ami Denborg, wrote: "My dearest little sister. I will miss you so much. It's so hard to imagine a life without you being a part of it.
"Your laugh, your smile, your style, everything about you is so wonderful. I love you. May you rest in peace."
Another friend, Rajen Shah, wrote: "Having been at your wedding, what has happened is unimaginable and still can't believe you are not present amongst us.
"Our deepest sympathies to Shrien and every member of both families for the great loss.
"Little Keshvi called you a princess and you truly were a princess. Beautiful memories will always be with us."
Another friend, Shivani Pala, posted: "Dearest Anni. I had the privilege of putting a payal on your foot at one of your wedding functions. You looked beautiful on that day and I remember the way u smiled at me and what you said!
"The wedding was perfect and both families hosted us so well which is reflective of what wonderful people you all are."
Police in South Africa are still hunting for the killers.
A Western Cape Police spokesman said: "The investigation is still ongoing and the search for the suspects continues.
"No-one has been arrested and detectives are following up on all possible leads."
Reports claim Mrs Dewani was shot but officers would not comment on the cause of death.
» » » » [Telegraph.UK :: SkyNews.UK]
Cape Town honeymoon murder: family tribute to 'beautiful' bride
The family of Anni Dewani, the wife killed on honeymoon after being carjacked in Cape Town, have paid tribute to the "wonderful and beautiful" bride.
Aislinn Laing, Richard Edwards and Richard Savill
6:14PM GMT 15 Nov 2010
The 28-year-old part-time model and her husband, Shrien, 30, who runs a multi-million pound luxury carehome business in Bristol, were ambushed as their taxi drove towards a fashionable nightspot in a township.
It is believed that Mrs Dewani was shot dead. Police are awaiting the results of a post mortem, which will confirm whether there was also a sexual element to the killing.
Detectives are investigating whether the couple were forced to withdraw large amounts of cash at gunpoint.
Mr Dewani, who police said was bundled out of the taxi unharmed before his wife was driven away and murdered, was being cared for by his parents last night and said to be “in a terrible state”.
Hundreds of people signed up a memorial page on Facebook yesterday to leave tributes.
Ami Denborg posted: “My dearest little sister. I will miss you so much. Its so hard to imagine a life without you being apart of it. Your laugh, your smile your style, everything about you is so wonderful. I love you. May you rest in peace.”
Guests at the couple's wedding, a fortnight ago in Mumbai, said that what happened was “unimaginable”.
Shivani Pala said: "You looked beautiful on that day and I remember the way you smiled at me and what you said.
"The wedding was perfect and both families hosted us so well which is reflective of what wonderful people you all are.
"We mourn the loss of a life cut short so tragically and pray that god gives strength to Shrien, your mother, father, brothers, sisters and both the Hindocha and Dewani families.”
Mrs and Mrs Dewani had eaten dinner in the Winelands region on Saturday and were on their way back to an exclusive hotel when they asked the taxi driver to drive through one of the city’s townships, Gugulethu.
It is believed they were trying to find Mzoli’s Meat, an outdoor barbeque restaurant and bar which calls itself an “authentic taste of township life” and was recommended last year by TV chef Jamie Oliver.
But their vehicle, a Volkswagen Sharan, was stopped by armed men who threw out the driver and kidnapped the couple in the back of the car.
Mr Dewani was apparently bundled out, unharmed, in the township of Khayelitsha and flagged down help.
It is understood that Mrs Dewani was shot three times in the chest. Her body was found in the abandoned people carrier hours later.
Police were said to be confident they were closing the net on the killers. Albert Fritz, the regional minister for community safety, said they had “incredibly strong leads” in the case.
However the case has renewed the debate about crime and safety in South Africa and popular tourist resort Cape Town in particular.
Nathi Mthethwa, the country's Police Minister, said the incident was “horrendous and shocking” and condemned the killers as “useless scoundrels”.
But he insisted that South Africa was still safe for visitors to visit and pointed to the almost unblemished record of this summer's World Cup.
Details also emerged yesterday of the couple’s background.
Mr Dewani was educated at Bristol Grammar School. Aged 18 he was accepted on a scholarship program by consulting firm Arthur Andersen. He went to university in Manchester and qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Deloitte.
However he and his brother, Preyen Dewani, left their City jobs in 2005 to expand their father’s healthcare business and property empire in the south west of England.
The brothers increased the turn over of the healthcare firm by £3million within 18 months and have planned a care village in South Wales as well as a chain of luxury care centres for the elderly.
Mrs Dewani was raised in Mariestad and studied engineering at university. Until February she worked at Ericsson, the mobile phone giant, in Stockholm.
She move to England recently and had entered Bristol’s Top Model competition under her maiden name, Anni Hindocha [(PDF)], earlier this year.
» » » » [Telegraph.UK]