Dewani trial: Anni died in a botched ransom plot


Anni Dewani died in a botched ransom plot the Western Cape High Court heard on Monday. According to Shrien Dewani’s senior counsel, advocate Francois van Zyl, she was meant to be a bargaining chip – a leverage to extort money from her millionaire husband. But an accidental shot saw her killers’ kidnapping fall apart as Anni bled to death in the back seat of a stolen taxi.

Van Zyl argued that Anni’s death carried “all the hallmarks of a shot that wasn’t supposed to go off” rather than the orchestrated “hit” that the UK businessman had been charged with.

The 34-year-old Dewani fought back tears during convicted killer Mziwamadoda Qwabe’s heated cross-examination in which Van Zyl made his explosive claim.

Last week, Dewani’s legal team picked apart Qwabe’s testimony. Qwabe is serving 25 years in prison for his role in the hijacking and murder of Anni in 2010.

Van Zyl pointed out that in Qwabe's affidavit filed to police, his plea bargain agreement and his various testimonies, there were multiple conflicting accounts of what had happened inside the car on the night of Hindocha’s death.