Dewani’s wife ‘killed as kidnap bid went wrong’

Honeymooner Anni Dewani was supposed to be kidnapped and ransomed, defence lawyers told Cape Town High Court yesterday, where her murder trial is being heard.

The hitmen allegedly hired by her British businessman husband, Shrien Dewani, had meant to kidnap and ransom her, defence lawyers said, while raising the possibility there were plans to “sexually molest or rape” her before she was killed accidentally.

Dewani’s defence counsel Francois van Zyl claimed the gunshot that killed the 28-year-old had been discharged accidentally and that the attackers were going to rape the bride and exchange her for a ransom.

He suggested the men had known that Dewani was rich and that they could demand money if they kept his wife hostage.

The prosecution has repeatedly asked why Dewani was allowed to go free while armed hijackers drove off with his wife.

Meanwhile, the court heard the millionaire businessman described himself on a dating website as a single gay man.

The court heard that, when describing himself on the website, Dewani, 34, had ticked ‘single gay man’ from several options, including ‘single bi[sexual] man’.

Simon Johnson, the former digital product manager of the Gaydar website, told the Western Cape High Court that Dewani, from Westbury on Trym in Bristol, used the profile name ‘Asiansubguy’, and chose gay as his sexual orientation.

Dewani had also selected ‘no’ for the question asking whether the individual had disclosed their sexuality publicly, South African media reported.

In his plea explanation handed up to the court a week ago, Dewani said he was bisexual and had had sexual interactions with both men and women.

He has pleaded not guilty to the five counts against him, maintaining that the couple were the victims of a hijacking.

One man has already been jailed for his part in Anni’s death.


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