In a week’s time, Monday 6th October 2014, the high profile trial begins under Judge Jeanette Traverso in the Western Cape High Court, of 34 yr old Shrien Dewani, a British man accused of arranging the murder in Cape Town of his new bride Anni Hindocha (aka Dewani).
It is a trial that has been a long time in gestation, and one that has been impatiently awaited for four years by a watching world’s audience. It is a trial about a killing that involves aspects of intrigue, abduction, lawyers, wickedness, riches, violence, relationships, police, subterfuge, mental capacity, law enforcement, sex, evil, shooting, international law, religion, extradition, courts, bereaved, homophobia, politicians, money, race, cowardice, nationality, kidnap, assault, guns, a fugitive, and of course cold blooded murder. A catalogue that might be thought to have caused such widespread interest of millions, but the truth is that most peoples’ primary focus is simply on a single matter – Justice.
The Hindu Dewani couple were abducted on a taxi ride, before the Swedish 28 year old young woman Anni Dewani was shot & murdered by three men on her honeymoon in South Africa. The now accused husband had left the country, within days of his wife’s killing, to return to the UK – before the murders were caught of course. He was subsequently accused of himself having arranged the killing.
Rich man, husband Shrien Dewani refused to voluntarily return, only a few weeks after his wife was killed, to the place where she was murdered (when apparently he was a well man) to help the SA authorities to understand how his new young wife had lost her life in a violent attack (he was totally unscathed himself); nor go back to answer the accusations made against him. He repeatedly legally thwarted extradition from the UK, citing medical ‘depression’. Against his will, he was finally returned to Cape Town and detention six months ago to face murder & kidnapping charges. He has been deemed to be medically fit to do so.
Until the trial takes place and evidence is presented, all we know is that the original accusations against Shrien Dewani are based on testimony from the other already convicted killers. Innocent or guilty, there seems to be ‘a case to answer’.
Irrespective of what the result of the trial proves to be, Dewani will forever be a despicable & widely despised man. He has already been ‘judged’ by the public, but not necessarily of the killing itself, but of his disgusting non-man behaviour.
No honourable man would have escaped with his life (let alone completely undamaged), in the circumstances of the murder, and without having put up a blood chilling fight, have left his wife alone, a vulnerable & unprotected lady, to sacrifice her life,. Not many of us are ready made heroes, but any man is expected to protect his wife and give his life if necessary to shield her from mortal danger, surely? Not value his own life above hers?
Not only did he run away, flee the scene as they say, and demonstrate a level of moral cowardice that the rest of us would have nightmares about showing, but he immediately fled the Country.
It appears then that he suddenly became ‘mentally incapacitated’ two months later in a further legal submission to the court to avoid extradition. He also, to the surprise of the British population, employed a well known expensive media publicist one Max Clifford to promote his cause – the fact that the well known & at the time respected Clifford got involved in promoting a murder suspect was a bit of a shock (until he was himself later convicted of child sex abuse and sent down for eight years!).
[If Shrien Dewani does get convicted, however flimsy the evidence, and goes to jail there won’t be any tears shed this side of the Equator, but if not he still won’t be on anyone decent’s Christmas list].
Western Cape is one of the biggest court divisions in the country.
Deputy Judge President Jeanette Traverso
The first woman to assume a leadership position within the South African judiciary: the second woman to be appointed to the Bench in SA: the first woman to be appointed Deputy Judge President: the first woman to be called to the Cape Bar Council: the first woman to be conferred with Senior Counsel status.
Previously, a prosecutor in the magistrate courts & a State Advocate for the Attorney General.
Anni Dewani murdered in a Cape Town township