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Take a closer look at an awful crime that shook South Africa

2019-07-01 15:57
Candles are lit in memory of Anni Dewani at the Sh

Cape Town - A lavish wedding, a dream honeymoon … it was the stuff of fairy tales, but it ended in tragedy for Anni Dewani. Was it a botched hijacking, or cold-blooded murder?

We may never know the whole truth about what happened that night, but a new documentary on Crime + Investigation (DStv 170) tries to piece together the events, gives insight into Anni's life, and speaks to the real people affected by her death – her family.


When Swedish engineer Anni Hindocha married her British businessman fiancé, Shrien Dewani, no one could have imagined how it would end. The two met in 2009, but it wasn't until Anni moved to the UK in March of 2010 that the couple became engaged. Seven months later, they were married in a lavish three-day ceremony in India. Their future had never seemed brighter when, in November of that year, they arrived in South Africa on their honeymoon.

A week later, Anni Dewani was dead. She had been shot and killed in the back of their driver's hijacked taxi. From the start, the case looked cut and dried – a botched hijacking, resulting in Anni's tragic death. Her husband Shrien returned to the UK, a broken man, suffering from mental health issues as he struggled to overcome the tragic loss.

Over the next few days, three suspects were arrested – Xolile Mngeni, Mziwanmadoda Qwabe and the couple's driver, Zola Tongo. They all admitted to being involved in the killing. But one of them, Mziwamadoda Qwabe, made the claim that they had been hired by Shrien Dewani to kill his wife.

The questions quickly piled up. Could Dewani have orchestrated the killing of his wife? What were a millionaire tourist and his wife doing in Gugulethu in the middle of the night, anyway? Why did the hijackers spare both Shrien Dewani and the driver, Zola Tongo? If it was a hijacking, why did the hijackers leave the car? And why was Shrien Dewani caught on hotel security footage, handing a package to Tongo days after Anni's death?


The case drew international speculation and accusations, first against South Africa's rampant crime, and then against Dewani himself. A month later, in December 2010, Dewani was remanded in custody in the UK as the SA authorities began what would end up being a three-year process to extradite him to South Africa for trial. 

Dewani spent those three years in custody, being cared for at several mental health facilities in the UK, all the time continuing to appeal against the extradition. In January 2014, Dewani lost his appeal, and on 7 April, he finally arrived back in South Africa to face murder charges. At last, it seemed, the truth would come out.

But in a shock ruling, the trial was thrown out of court for lack of evidence. And just like that, for Shrien Dewani, the ordeal was over. Just last year, Shrien was pictured with his new partner, Brazilian-born photographer Gledison Lopez Martins. Shrien has moved on, but for Anni's family, there is still no resolution and no answers as to what actually happened to their beloved sister and daughter.

Murdered on Honeymoon takes a look at the murder and subsequent investigation surrounding Anni's death and the men accused of killing her. The documentary paints a picture of a young woman preparing to start her life with the man she loved and offers an emotional glimpse of a family in mourning.

Don't miss Murdered on Honeymoon on Monday 1 July on Crime + Investigation (170) at 20:00.

Read more on:    anni dewani  |  shrien dewani  |  documentaries  |  tv

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