Dewani cousin left info out – lawyer

FILE PICTURE: Shrien Dewani. Picture: Nardus Engelbrecht/SAPA/Pool

FILE PICTURE: Shrien Dewani. Picture: Nardus Engelbrecht/SAPA/Pool

Anni Dewani’s cousin did not tell the British police all the details of a phone conversation she had about a fatal hijacking in Cape Town in 2010, the Western Cape High Court heard on Tuesday.

Francois van Zyl cross-examined the cousin, Sneha Mashru, on what his client Shrien Dewani had told her over the phone just hours after Anni was killed in the hijacking.

Dewani has pleaded not guilty to masterminding her death in an apparent sham hijacking on November 13, 2010.

Mashru previously testified that police recorded their interview with her on November 30, 2010 after the conversation with Dewani raised her suspicions about his possible involvement in the killing and she decided to take action.

In her evidence-in-chief, she said Dewani had told her on the phone that Anni wanted to see the townships and that he was tired and wanted to go home.

He also told her that when they were hijacked, she hid her wedding ring and gave another ring to the men but they got annoyed because they said it was not worth anything.

Looking at the transcript of Mashru’s first interview with the police, Van Zyl asked why none of this information was there.

Mashru said her main focus in the interview was the text messages between herself and Anni because it “was something concrete to give to the police”.

Deputy Judge Jeanette Traverso asked what she meant by concrete.

“I thought that you could see [in the messages] that the relationship was not good. I am not saying it was not good, you could actually see it,” Mashru replied.

She said she mentioned the part about the townships when she made her official statement in January 2011.

Dewani has pleaded not guilty to the five counts against him, maintaining that the couple were the victims of a hijacking on November 13, 2010.

The State alleges that he conspired with others to stage the hijacking in return for R15,000.

Her slumped body was found in the abandoned shuttle taxi in Khayelitsha the following day.



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