Paint hurled on to Dewani driveway


Published: Thursday 11th December 2014 by The News Editor

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White paint has been thrown on to the driveway at the home of former murder suspect Shrien Dewani.

The 34-year-old, who was cleared by a court in South Africa of arranging the murder of his wife Anni in 2010, arrived back in the UK yesterday.

His parents are believed to have returned to the family home – called Prabhu Krupa Villa – on a private estate in Westbury-on-Trym, an exclusive suburb of Bristol.

Avon and Somerset Police said they are investigating the incident.

“We are aware of an incident outside a house in Westbury-on-Trym and we are investigating,” a force spokeswoman said.

Earlier, a uniformed police officer arrived at the property, went through a set of electronic gates and drove up the driveway towards the house.

Twenty minutes later, the police officer drove away in the patrol car.

On Monday, Judge Jeanette Traverso cleared the millionaire businessman after ruling the prosecution case that he had arranged the death of his wife Anni was flawed.

Judge Traverso dismissed the case against the bisexual care home boss, describing evidence from a key prosecution witness as “riddled with contradictions”.

The ruling prompted an angry response from Anni’s family, who are pondering whether to launch a civil action against her husband in the UK.

They said the decision left many questions unanswered as it meant Mr Dewani, who led a double life, would not have to give evidence or face cross-examination.

The family waited four years for the case to be brought against the businessman, who had been accused of staging the carjacking in which she was gunned down.

Speaking on the steps of Western Cape High Court after Mr Dewani was acquitted, Anni’s sister Ami Denborg said the family felt “failed” by the justice system and they would be “haunted” by the decision.

Holding back tears, she said: “We came here looking for answers and we came here looking for the truth and all we got was more questions.

“We waited patiently for four years to hear what really happened to Anni and to hear the full story of what happened to our dearest little sister.

“All we wanted was to hear all the events and the hope of actually finding that out has kept us, as a family, going. Unfortunately we believe that this right has now been taken away from us.”

Drawing on evidence that Mr Dewani had secret relationships with gay men in the months before they married, Ms Denborg said: “We heard that Shrien has led a double life and that Anni knew nothing about it.

“And we just wish that Shrien had been honest with us and especially with Anni.”

Mr Dewani heaved a sigh of relief as the judge dismissed the case against him. He left court a short time later through a side entrance, declining to comment.

Three men – Zola Tongo, Mziwamadoda Qwabe and gunman Xolile Mngeni – have already been convicted for their parts in Anni’s murder, which happened when the Dewanis’ chauffeur-driven late-night tour of a township was hijacked.

Monde Mbolombo, a self-confessed “middle man” who set up the murder, may now also face justice, having previously been granted immunity by the state.

Prosecutors said Mr Dewani had long planned to get out of the relationship to Swedish-raised engineer Anni, 28, and arranged a carjacking on their honeymoon in Cape Town in November 2010 in which he would escape unharmed and Anni would be killed.

But Judge Traverso said the claims of the chief prosecution witness, cab driver Tongo, were “riddled with contradictions” and “highly debatable”.

Mr Dewani, who was finally extradited this year to face trial, listened intently as key evidence against him was criticised by the judge.

The ruling ended a four-year wait for him and his family to clear his name – a period which included lengthy spells in mental health units, lurid allegations about his private life and fighting extradition from the UK.

Published: Thursday 11th December 2014 by The News Editor

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