3 minute read
11 Nov 2014
6:09 pm

Dewani responded to Anni’s emails – lawyer

British businessman Shrien Dewani responded to his wife Anni's emotional e-mails about their relationship in 2010, his lawyer said on Tuesday.

Francois van Zyl asked the investigating officer in her murder case, Captain Paul Hendrikse, whether he had seen his client’s response and he replied no.

Hendrikse had read out Anni Dewani’s two e-mails sent around 11am on November 5, 2010 and retrieved two months later off her phone.

Van Zyl read out the response that his client e-mailed the same day, noting that the “3.50am” time stamp seemed to be incorrect or did not fit in.

In the e-mail, Dewani said he had been honest with her and did not say he regretted their relationship.

“When I said it was not natural and was forcing myself, we were talking about not feeling happy. Not that I was forcing myself to be with you,” the e-mail stated.

“I love you. You know that. Surely that is the most important thing. The rest will just come.”

Dewani said to his wife that he was not being mean and that it was better that they actually talked about their issues instead of pretending all the time.

Van Zyl explained that the couple had been nasty to each other in a discussion that morning in a hotel in Bristol, England.

“This was nothing more than the deceased reacting to something said that morning which she thought was wrong and him explaining himself,” the lawyer said.

Hendrikse said he could not dispute that the response placed a different perspective on Anni’s e-mails.

In the initial e-mails, Anni had threatened to leave him because she was hurt by his comments. She did not want them to be like “Bollywood actors” and pretend everything was fine.

Shrien Dewani is on trial for allegedly plotting with shuttle taxi driver Zola Tongo and others to kill Anni while they were on honeymoon in Cape Town in November 2010.

He has pleaded not guilty to charges including kidnapping, murder, and defeating the ends of justice.

He claims the couple were hijacked as Tongo was driving them through Gugulethu in his minibus on Saturday, November 13, 2010.

Dewani was released unharmed and Anni was driven away. She was found shot dead in the abandoned minibus in Khayelitsha the next morning.

The State alleges he conspired with others to stage the hijacking for which he paid R15,000.

He however maintains that Tongo helped him organise a surprise helicopter trip for Anni for R15,000.

Taxi driver Tongo is serving an 18-year jail term and Mziwamadoda Qwabe a 25-year jail term.

Xolile Mngeni was serving life in jail for firing the shot that killed Anni, but died in prison from a brain tumour on October 18.

Hotel receptionist Monde Mbolombo was initially granted immunity on two charges during Mngeni’s trial but was warned during testimony in Dewani’s trial that he faced five charges.

The court had yet to make a finding on whether he testified truthfully and was immune from prosecution.

Hendrikse was asked if the killing was typical of the execution killings he had seen, since the fatal shot was not to the head.

“The merits of this case says that the intention was to kill this lady. We know for a fact that they had already been robbed. There was only the lady and she had to be killed. A shot was fired to the vital organs. She died,” the officer said.

He conceded that it was not typical of an execution-style killing.

Hendrikse was dismissed after a day on the stand.

It was not yet clear whether the State would call another witness when the trial resumes on Wednesday.