In a previously unheard story that’s been laid out in a signed confession document and accepted by the Cape High Court, Mziwamadoda Qwabe claimed he was told that businessman Shrien Dewani “wanted the wife killed” and that it had to look like a robbery.
The hitman, 27, said in his confession that he helped to hijack the couple’s taxi the fateful night Anni was murderd.
Qwabe, a father of three, said he was behind the wheel when a second hitman, sitting beside him, turned round and shot Anni in the neck.
Qwabe also said the murder was ordered by her husband, and that it was designed to appear like “a random criminal act”.
I his confession, he also admitted kidnapping, robbery, owning an unlicensed gun and premeditated murder.
Qwabe was handed a 25-year jail sentence and will be eligible for parole in 17 years, under the terms of a plea bargain to testify against Shrien Dewani.
Dewani adamantly rejects accusations that he commissioned and paid for the murder in November 2010, and at his most recent extradition hearing, he was told that he is mentally unfit to return to South Africa for trial due to post-traumatic stress disorder and severe depression.
Anni’s uncle, Ashok Hindocha, said:
We are just happy. Two of the accused have now pleaded guilty. Now we want to know what really happened to Anni, why they killed her. I would have been much, much happier if all the accused were in South Africa and cross-examination took place and the truth could be found.
To us, Anni is still not dead. We haven’t started the mourning process. We can’t. We need to know what happened and then we can start working our way through it.
This is some of what still needs to be accounted for:
Shrien Dewani has always protested his innocence in the case of his wife Anni’s murder. The South African authorities claim there is evidence of his involvement but Dewani’s supporters have answers for many of the questions raised.
Why did the Dewanis enlist the services of cabbie Zola Tongo instead of using a designated hotel taxi?
A Dewani family spokesman said there was nothing unusual in jumping into a taxi on arrival at a foreign airport. The trip to South Africa had been ‘very last minute’, he said, and the Cape Grace hotel where the couple were staying had just one luxury limousine transfer that had to be booked in advance, costing R600 rand per journey.
Why was Dewani not harmed in the incident when his wife was driven off and killed?
Dewani’s friends say he made every possible effort to save her. They say he was ejected from the cab in a township and did not know where he was. He went knocking on doors and tried to summon help, they said. Dewani is also reported to have said he was dragged out of the vehicle, struggling throughout.
Why did the couple choose to visit Gugulethu, an area known to be unsafe?
The honeymooners were said to have wanted to see the ‘real’ South Africa. It has also been claimed that Tongo suggested he take them to a place where they could see some African dancing and that the couple were lukewarm about going.
Why did CCTV footage show Dewani chatting to Tongo for 13 minutes shortly after his arrival at the Cape Grace hotel?
Dewani’s supporters have reportedly claimed he was discussing with the taxi driver his and Mrs Dewani’s plans for the next few days.
Why did CCTV footage from the hotel three days after the murder show Tongo apparently receiving a white plastic packet from Dewani, supporting the taxi driver’s claim that he was paid for the hit that day?
Friends and relatives of Dewani have pointed out that if he had left the country without settling the taxi fare he would have been accused of running off without paying his debts.
Hopefully, one day, Shrien will answer some of these questions.
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