Shrien Dewani free!
Shrien Dewani is a free man after the Western Cape High Court on Monday ruled in favour of his application to be discharged of killing his wife Anni Hindocha on their honeymoon in Cape Town in November 2010.
Dewani's lawyers brought the application last month in terms of Section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Act, which opened the way for a discharge if the court believed there was no credible evidence at the close of the State's case.
He was charged with kidnapping, murder and defeating the ends of justice. It was alleged Dewani plotted with taxi driver Zola Tongo and others to murder Hindocha.
Western Cape High Court Deputy Judge President Jeanette Traverso, despite facing a petition calling for her recusal, made the ruling on Dewani's application.
State failed us
Anni's sister Ami Denborg told reporters outside the court that she feels the South African justice system had failed them.
Meanwhile, the NPA, announced that it would study the judgment.
Calls not to release Dewani
Last week, the Hindochas urged the Western Cape High Court to continue Dewani's trial so he could give his version of events.
"Don't let Shrien Dewani walk away without giving us, South Africa and people from all over the world the full story," Anni's brother, Anish Hindocha, told a news conference.
It would be a "terrible development" if Dewani was allowed to leave South Africa "without explaining himself what happened on the night when my sister got murdered", he said.
After months of consistently supporting the National prosecuting Authority (NPA), a social media-based organisation, Justice4Anni, last weekend, said that the "the prosecution's performance at the trial has been abysmal", and accused prosecutors Adrian Mopp and Shireen Riley of "shoddy work".
"When the facts are carefully looked at there is something very suspicious about the entire handling of the Dewani murder trial," the group said.
"The prosecutors have not properly highlighted the solid evidence in the prosecution file about Dewani's actions, the CCTV revelations, the phone call explanations. There has been no explanation of why SMS text message context has not been retrieved," it said.
Last week the organisation petitioned Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng and Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Michael Masutha, calling for Judge Jeanette Traverso's recusal from the trial based on claims that she has been biased in favour of Dewani.
Dewani's legal representative, Francois van Zyl SC, has argued that the evidence of his client's alleged co-conspirators has been "poor" and cannot be relied on.
Legal experts believed Dewani's lawyer put up a strong case for his acquittal and that he will be home by Christmas.
Blogger, Khaya Dlanga, tweeted; "These judgements, Dewani and Pistorious; can women feel that the law will serve them justly?"
A Twitter user called Arboted News, tweeted; "Justice Department spent almost R3 million to bring Sharon Dewani... I mean Shrien Dewani to our shores. All this for nothing!"
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