Cab driver named suspect in Indian-origin woman’s murder

Monday, November 22, 2010

LONDON - The taxi driver who was behind the wheel when an Indian-origin woman was murdered after a car hijacking incident in Cape Town has been named as one of the three suspects in her killing, a media report said Monday.

Anni Dewani, 28, a mechanical engineer of Ugandan-Indian descent from Sweden, was killed Nov 13. She and her Indian-origin British husband, 30-year-old Shrien, were on their honeymoon and took a night-time detour in a taxi through Gugulethu, one of Cape Town’s most dangerous townships.

Police have confirmed that the driver, 31-year-old Zola Tongo, has entered into a “plea bargaining and sentencing” arrangement with them.

This development suggests Tongo, originally held as a witness to the crime, might have been involved in the incident, Sky News reported.

Dewani, from Westbury-on-Trym, near Bristol, escaped unhurt after the hijackers forced him out of the car at gunpoint, before driving away with his newly-married wife.

Her body was found the next morning in Khayelitsha township, on the outskirts of Cape Town.

Tongo appeared before Wynberg regional court, along with a second man, 25-year-old Mziwamadoda Qwabe. The pair will re-appear Nov 29 along with a third suspect, 23-year-old Xolile Mmegeni.

All three are believed to be facing charges of kidnapping, murder and aggravated robbery.

Unnamed police sources have suggested it was more than a “random attack”.

One South African media report said it was a “planned hit”.

Dewani, whose business is reported to be in financial trouble, is not a suspect in the murder, police said.

Filed under: Accidents and Disasters

will not be displayed