Family keeps open mind as Dewani trial opens

Shrien and Anni Dewani: On trial for her murder.

The family of honeymoon murder victim Anni Dewani have said they are keeping an open mind as her husband prepares to stand trial in South Africa accused of ordering her death.

Seven members of her family have arrived in Cape Town for the start of the trial today, nearly four years since the 28-year-old model was shot as she travelled through a township with her husband Shrien Dewani.

Her uncle, Ashok Hindocha, said the family’s wait for justice has been “agonising”, and that they just want answers so they can mourn properly.

However, he would not comment on whether Anni’s loved ones would welcome Dewani back into the family should he be found innocent of all charges.

Speaking on the eve of the trial, Hindocha, 54, said: “We have been let down for four years by the justice system. We have been to every court case, in England and South Africa, thinking: ‘How can we come to a closure?’ Now we know we are coming to an end.”

Dewani, 34, is due to appear at Western Cape High Court after receiving treatment at Valkenberg Hospital since April.

The millionaire businessman, from Weston-on-Trym near Bristol, was extradited from the UK to face trial charged with conspiracy to commit kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances, murder, kidnapping, and defeating the ends of justice.

Dewani is accused of paying three men to kill his new bride during the couple’s honeymoon in November 2010, two weeks after their lavish £200,000 wedding in Mumbai.

Before his extradition, Dewani was detained in a hospital in Britain for depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Prosecutors say that Dewani conspired with Cape Town residents Zola Tongo, Mziwamadoda Qwabe, and Xolile Mngeni to kill his wife.

Taxi driver Tongo, Qwabe, and Mngeni are already serving jail terms in connection with the killing.

Dewani claimed he and his wife were kidnapped at gunpoint as they drove through Gugulethu in Cape Town in a taxi in November 2010. He was released unharmed, but his wife’s body was found in the abandoned car the next day.


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