Tuesday October 14
The Oscar Pistorius trial certainly caused many outsiders to ‘throw-up’ at the way the South African Justice System works, so it was hoped that the Shrien Dewani trial would at least redress the balance a bit. That has turned out to be a false hope hasn’t it?
Most people who had knowledge of the events four years ago when Anni Hindocha (Dewani) was murdered in a Cape Town remote ‘township’ (a dangerous place at night, that no responsible husband would have exposed his wife to, surely?), knew what to expect didn’t they? A pleading ‘not guilty’ husband, who was accused by the actual killers of being complicit in pre-planning the murder, who’s defence was that he is being framed, and a prosecution intent on showing that there was significant evidence against him.
Anyone who has watched or read a ‘murder mystery’ (or indeed followed a murder trial) knows that a ‘prime’ concern for the police & investigators is to establish a motive, isn’t it? In the Dewani case those analysing events found such a motive, didn’t they? Dewani was a ‘closet homosexual’ who had seemingly embarked on a sham marriage (like thousands like him have done so certainly, for time immemorial to hide their true sexuality?), and the implication was that he wanted out of it quickly at whatever human cost.
The trial has disclosed certain pertinent facts; amongst those that have surfaced so far is that, Dewani suddenly out of the blue admitted his homosexuality, but claimed he was bisexual as well (though that is a pretty new & dubious assertion); he is apparently sexually deviant & not involved in committed same sex relationships; he regularly used male prostitutes; and has for donkey’s years been a member of a gay on-line dating website (which he had accessed since his marriage and disturbingly only a couple of days after his new wife’s murder – it is reported that his sister ‘cancelled’ his membership & profile a week after his wife’s killing (on the very day of Anni’s funeral no less!), so obviously his family were aware of his strange sexual activities). None of that of course makes him guilty of the murder crime he is now charged with, but nevertheless it does indicate a possible motive wouldn’t you say?
Well the learned Judge has decided NOT, and has decreed that Dewani’s sexuality & his sexual behaviour, or even any possible sex misdemeanours, are NOT relevant – so all the evidence ready to be submitted by the prosecution on such matters is excluded and won’t be heard.
It is enough to give any prosecutor a mental breakdown don’t you think? [perhaps the Judge knows if there is an obscure Afrikaans law against an accused foreigner causing that, which could put Dewani in jail for life, perhaps? Otherwise, Procecutor Adrian Mopp might as well go on holiday for a while. Dewani might as well just book his flight back home to England to get on with his sexual preference’d life of luxury
[Oh yes, if you are wondering, the trial is ADJURNED again (now until next week) – this is South Africa we are dealing with here after all!]
NEWS TRIAL DAY 2 & DAY 3
One of the convicted murders has been giving evidence about how the killing of Anni actually took place (and the two other killers are likely to follow). It is improbable though that there will be ANY real revelations during this stage of the trial, as the murder circumstances have been in the public domain for years – through the other earlier trials of course. We will have to wait for new & previously undisclosed State evidence later (or even Defence submissions) before we can really see where this is going, and how the evidence stacks-up, or doesn’t, against Dewani. It would be astonishing if the Court simply accepted the version of events offered by three plea-bargained convicts, without other compelling collaborative hard evidence, don’t you think? Has the State got it all together we wonder?
Inevitably, the Defence simply accused the killer witness of being a proven liar (which he is of course, and that accusation will be thrown at the others as well by the Defence when the time comes).
Shockingly, for a trial of this world media magnitude, the authorities have failed to provide adequate microphonic facilites in the Court, so the trial so far has been beset with adjournment issues over that, much to the annoyance of the eminent Lady Judge.
Dewani has been showing signs of strain (charged with murder why not?) and is now deemed ill with gastric problems (stomach pains) – in light of his past history of claimed debilitating illness in the last four years preventing this trial, it would not be surprising would it if his trial is now beset with a display from Dewani of medical issues causing delays or worse?
As it turns out the State witness has the same gastric problem (perhaps it is the Court food eh?), so there is again another adjournment until Monday!
IT IS GOING TO A LONG WHILE BEFORE THIS GETS ANYWHERE!
Monday OCTOBER 6th
Well this much wanted trial kicked-off this morning in Cape Town with the British millionaire husband Shrien Dewani facing five charges including murder.
What both the Hindocha family and the watching general public want is a fair and open trial, isn’t it?
The question that many still find a mystery is why Dewani refused, when undoubtedly he was mentally sound, to go back to South Africa, help the authorities, confront his wife’s killers, give evidence against them to secure their convictions, and confront their allegations that he was implicated.
There will be widespread anger & dismay if Dewani balks giving evidence in his own defence – and his previous behaviour doesn’t give us much confidence that he will does it?
It certainly started with an amazing revelation, an open admission by Dewani read by his Defence counsel Francois van Zyl that he was bisexual no less – the rumours that he had been in homosexual relationships (including with prostitutes) had previously been rigorously denied by his representatives and family. It was also disclosed that Anni found Shrien Dewani ‘controlling’ – a puzzling admission and clearly not a ‘casual’ disclosure, so we can expect that issue to become significant as the trial develops can’t we? He has furthermore admitted to his relationship with Anni being ‘volatile’ is that not a serious eye-opener when a young woman has been killed?
He has already made a claim at the outset that stress has affected his memory of events – so he is well place to plead amnesia about selected actions during his trial, don’t you think?
It seems strange though that the Defence had first shout here in presenting a statement BEFORE the prosecution have made their case (but these things are different in a SA court obviously).
With Dewani in the dock the State prosecution, headed by barrister Adrian Mopp, has began their case. Predictably Dewani is seen to soon break down in tears as details of Anni’s close range shooting injuries are disclosed. Notwithstanding this, he does not yet apparently present a figure of a totally broken man, devastated about his wife’s death, and beset with four years of mental incapacity..
[The trial is now adjourned for a day as the next prosecution witness is “not ready” – a disgrace that wouldn’t be allowed in Britain would it?].
[Prosecutor Adrian Mopp has already successfully conducted the proceedings against gunmen Xolile Mngeni, Mziwamadoda Qwabe and taxi driver Zola Tongo (all jailed) for their part in the murder of Anni Dewani, 28, in November 2010
Defence advocate Francois van Zyl has previously been involved in high-profile cases including that of a UK banker, charged with hiring a hit man to kill the father of a woman he pursued. He was one of the senior counsel who represented a German fraudster in a long running extradition battle; and he defended in another murder trial.].
THIS POST WILL BE UPDATED AS THE TRIAL PROGRESSES so download again for further opinions
A PREVIOUS POST September 28, 2014
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