I didn’t kill her, says husband of slain Indian-origin woman

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

LONDON - The husband of the Indian-origin woman who was killed while honeymooning in South Africa after being abducted Nov 14 has denied his involvement in the murder and said he had “searched high and low” for his “perfect partner”.

Anni, 28, was found dead after she was abducted by two gunmen while travelling in a taxi along with her husband in Western Cape. The British couple flew into South Africa for honeymoon.

Shrien Dewani, 30, broke down over the allegation saying: “How could anyone say I killed her?”

“It was the end of my world. I feel like I’ve been robbed of the rest of my life,” the Sun quoted Shrien, a millionaire, as saying.

Shrien, who is in Britain where his business is in debt, said of Swedish Anni: “I’d searched high and low for my perfect partner.”

“Anni was the ‘One’. Her looks, her laughter, her personality, her spirit - everything about her was right for me. Why would I want to kill her? People who suggest this could not have seen us together. Saying I was somehow involved simply defies logic.”

Police in Cape Town Monday rubbished speculation about “inconsistencies” in his account of Anni’s kidnap. Police chief General Bheki Cele said the Brit was not a suspect.

Zola Tongo, 31, the driver of the cab, who was kicked out of the car after it was ambushed by the gunmen, was behind bars. He has been charged with kidnap and robbery.

Police who have arrested two suspects in the carjacking claim Tongo tipped them off about where he was taking the newlyweds.

Shrien recalled his nightmare: “The robber put the pistol to my temple and stripped my 2,000-pound Rado watch from my wrist. I handed him 5,000-6,000 Rand (500 pound) and begged him to let us both go.”

“Anni whispered to me in Gujarati so they couldn’t understand that she had hidden her wedding and engagement ring. All I could think about was saving our lives.”

“They dumped Zola after a few minutes and then started roaring around at crazy speeds smashing over speed bumps and almost losing control,” Shrien said.

“Anni got more and more hysterical. I thought we were both going to be killed in a crash. They just kept going faster and faster - as she screamed louder and louder. Then the man with the gun turned round and told me: ‘Shut her up now or I’ll kill her.’ I was trying to calm Anni down but she just kept pleading with them to let us go.”

“She gave me another of her rings - one with a stone in it - which I handed to them, saying: “Please take this. Please just let us go.”

Later, the carjackers dragged Shrien and threw him on to the sandy ground at the side of the road.

“I looked up to see the car disappearing into the darkness with my lovely wife still inside. I had no money, no phone. I was shocked and didn’t know what to do standing in the dark in the middle of nowhere,” Shrien said.

The newlyweds’ terror ride had lasted 40 minutes - and it was another 20 before police arrived. Shrien was driven back to the five-star Cape Grace Hotel on Cape Town’s waterfront. Cabbie Tongo joined him as they told police what had happened.

Filed under: Accidents and Disasters

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