Anni Dewani's Family Criticizes Court Decision


Share this Post

Since Anni Dewani was murdered in 2010 her family has demanded answers. This week a South African judge dismissed the murder case against Dewani's husband, Shrien Dewani, meaning those answers may never come.

Shrien was cleared of five charges on Monday including conspiracy to commit kidnapping, robbery, and murder. South African prosecutors had claimed that he arranged the kidnapping and murder of Anni during the couple's honeymoon, citing his bisexuality as a possible motive.

Anni Dewani's family expressed grief and anger following the case dismissal on Monday. Members of the family told the BBC that they had been "failed" by the South African justice system. Ami Denborg, Anni's sister, stated that the family was "deeply disappointed" to be left without answers after four years of legal proceedings.

"The whole wedding was a drama, was false" Vinod Hindocha, Anni's father, told the Daily Mail this week. "I'm going to sue [Shrien] for that. Not for money, but for the loss of my daughter."

Anni Dewani, then Anni Hindocha, married British businessman Shrien Dewani in 2010. The couple honeymooned in South Africa in October of that year. Several days into the honeymoon the couple took a taxi to Gugulethu, a township outside of Cape Town that is notorious for its crime.

It was there that two armed men hijacked the taxi. Shrien was thrown out of the taxi and contacted police. The abandoned taxi was found later with Anni inside. She had apparently been robbed and had been shot to death.

In the following weeks South African police arrested the two hijackers and then the taxi driver. The taxi driver was offered a plea deal to testify that Shrien had set up the kidnapping and paid to have Anni murdered.

That plea deal would eventually become a key part of the case's dismissal. Judge Jeanette Traverso ruled that the prosecution did not have enough evidence to convict Shrien and pointed out that the taxi driver's testimony was "riddled with contradictions."

The case against Shrien was delayed by a prolonged extradition fight. Eventually he was extradited in April of this year. Anni's family had supported the extradition and Denborg said at the time that it was "just one step" in the "battle" to find out what happened to her sister.