Amanda Watson
News Editor
3 minute read
6 Oct 2014
9:29 pm

Dewani trial day 1: Emotion, blood and bisexuality

Amanda Watson

After months of planning a wedding, all Shrien Dewani wanted to do was relax in the company of his beautiful Swedish bride, Anni.

FILE PICTURE: British businessman Shrien Dewani appears in the Western Cape High Court on Monday, 6 October 2014. He pleaded not guilty to killing his wife Anni in Cape Town in 2010. Apart from murder Dewani is also charged with kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances, and conspiracy to commit these crimes. He is also charged with defeating the ends of justice. Picture: Nardus Engelbrecht/SAPA/Pool

He wanted to take her on safari, he wanted to enjoy a little time with Anni in a helicopter, and perhaps fit in some whale watching.

These were some of the revelations in Dewani’s plea explanation of not guilty, given in the Western Cape High Court where he is accused of conspiring to kidnap or kill Anni.

Yes, said Dewani, he considers himself bisexual and yes, he has had sexual relations with ‘that man’, Leopold Leissser.

Conspiracy theorists have long assumed Dewani was living a double life, and killing Anni was his way out of an “arranged marriage”.

Vinod Hindocha (R), father of Anni Dewani, is seen arriving at the Western Cape High Court with family members for the murder trial of British businessman Shrien Dewani on Monday, 6 October 2014. Picture: Nardus Engelbrecht/SAPA

Vinod Hindocha (R), father of Anni Dewani, is seen arriving at the Western Cape High Court with family members for the murder trial of British businessman Shrien Dewani on Monday, 6 October 2014. Picture: Nardus Engelbrecht/SAPA

‘No’, said the British businessman: “On our first date I was instantly physically attracted to her, loved her bubbly personality and said there was a mutual attraction,” he said through his defence advocate, Francois van Zyl.

Much like that other loving relationship where only one person was left standing, ie Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp, Dewani is the only one left to testify about their relationship.

According to him, they had their problems: they were strong, driven, opinionated, and they clashed.

Still, Dewani painted a picture of undying love – “We had designed ‘his’ and ‘her’ cupboards which we had custom made. Anni was keen on entertaining guests at dinner parties and as such we decided to create a new modern kitchen with entertaining space,” said Dewani.

However it was not to be. A short while after landing in Cape Town, Anni was found dead.

Shrien Dewani and Anni Dewani. Picture supplied

Shrien Dewani and Anni Dewani. Picture supplied

A 9mm bullet killed her. It passed between two vertebrae in her neck, severing her spinal cord, which instantly paralysed her and then destroyed the major blood vessels in her neck, causing her to bleed to death, said forensic pathologist Dr Janett Verster.

Her description lent a somber weight to the crime scene video presented shortly before Verster took the stand.

Before the car door was opened, a stream of blood could be seen running over the lower sill of the rear door of the vehicle.

When the crime scene investigator opened the door, Anni was seen slumped on her side on the back seat; her tresses matted with blood.

FILE PICTURE: Vinod Hindocha, father of murdered tourist, Swedish-born Anni Hindocha Dewani, is pictured during a press conference the day before the start of the trial of her British millionaire husband Shrien Dewani in the Cape Town High Court. Picture: AFP

FILE PICTURE: Vinod Hindocha, father of murdered tourist, Swedish-born Anni Hindocha Dewani, is pictured during a press conference the day before the start of the trial of her British millionaire husband Shrien Dewani in the Cape Town High Court. Picture: AFP

It was at this point, the Hindocha family became visibly distressed while Dewani and his family sat with their eyes glued to the ground.

There has been no contact between the two families since Anni’s death, and yesterday it remained so. On one side, a father fighting for the truth of what happened to his daughter. On the other, a father fighting to clear his son’s name.

Sitting Judge Jeanette Traverso postponed proceedings until Wednesday. Both parents will have to wait a little longer to find out what really happened that night, nearly four years ago.