Cape Town killing: Anni ‘was crying on flight out’
Murdered bride’s family pile on the pressure as husband’s reps refute complicity allegations
Anni Dewani, the young woman who died on her honeymoon in South Africa earlier this month, burst into tears on the flight to Cape Town and refused to sit next to the British man she had only just married, her father, Vinod Hindocha, has claimed in a call to the Mail on Sunday newspaper.
He is the second close relative of Anni's to volunteer information in the last few days which appears to pile pressure on Anni's husband, the Bristol businessman Shrien Dewani.
Shrien survived the November 13 incident when two armed men ambushed the taxi the Dewanis were travelling in through the townships outside Cape Town. Shrien Dewani claims he was pushed out of the car window by the men, who then drove off with Anni.
When the car was discovered abandoned early the next morning, Anni's body was found in the back. She had been shot once in the neck. Police have not confirmed local reports that she had been sexually assaulted.
Yesterday, The First Post reported how Anni's uncle, Ashok Hindocha, had urged South African police to "dig deeper" in their investigation, saying: "Tourists don't just get killed. Especially the girls, that's a question we need the answer to."
Having cooperated with the local police, Shrien Dewani was allowed to return to England with his wife's body. While he has received no official request to return, local media have questioned why he has not gone back to help the police identify the culprits.
Commenting on this, Ashok Hindocha said: "If it was my wife who was murdered I would jump into a plane, go there and ask those people, 'Why did you kill my wife and for what?'"
Now Ashok's brother - Anni's father - Vinod Hindocha has called the Mail on Sunday from his home in Sweden to ask the same question and to volunteer the story about his daughter bursting into tears on the flight out to Cape Town.
"We have heard that the air hostess noticed they were sitting separately and Anni was crying," Vinod Hindocha told the Mail. "The air hostess apparently asked Anni if she would like to sit with Shrien, but Anni said no."
Asked how he had heard about this, Vinod Hindocha said: "We are not sure, it is something you will have to check out."
The Mail appears to have been unable to confirm the anecdote with the airline, but quotes Shrien Dewani's lawyer, Charlotte Harris, as saying: "Any suggestion that there was hostility between the couple on the aeroplane or at any other point during the honeymoon is completely false."
She did not refute the allegation that Anni had been crying.
Shrien Dewani has hired the publicist Max Clifford to represent him. Clifford says his client is under sedation at home in England and has no intention of returning to South Africa unless he is convinced the police need his help in catching the culprits.
But as the The First Post reported yesterday, there are those close to the investigation in Cape Town who believe that if if Shrien Dewani does return, South African police intend to arrest him on suspicion of complicity in his wife's murder.
Tomorrow in Cape Town, the three local men charged with Anni's murder will appear in court. One of them, taxi driver Zola Tongo, is known to have sought a plea bargain with prosecutors in return for information about the background to the carjacking. It is hoped that details of the plea bargain will throw some light on the mystery.
Comments are now closed on this article