It’s been nine years since Anni Dewani was murdered in Gugulethu, Cape Town, in what was ‘proven’ to be a botched hijacking.
Zola Tongo, the man found guilty for Dewani’s murder, now hopes to be set free, as the possibility of parole becomes available under his sentencing terms. As reported by eNCA, it’s understood that Tongo will be attending his first parole hearing in June.
The killing of Anni Dewani
The brutal slaying of Anni Dewani rocked the country in
2010. Dewani’s parents, Ashok and Vinod Hindocha, are still seeking clarity on
the events that unfolded that fateful day in November, as such, they have
resolved to appear before the parole board when Tongo makes his plea.
What was supposed to be a fun filled honeymoon for
newlyweds, Shrien and Anni Dewani, turned to a nightmare on 13 November 2010.
The couple, who arrived from the United Kingdom to tour South Africa, sojourned
from the Kruger National Park to Cape Town. While sightseeing in Gugulethu, with
Tongo as their chaperone, the newlyweds were hijacked by armed assailants.
Both Tongo and Shrien were tossed from the vehicle. Anni,
however, was found four days later in the boot of the taxi; a single gunshot
wound to the head, her cause of death.
Murder-for-hire plot implicates Anni’s husband
A manhunt soon followed. Hijackers Mziwamadoda Qwabe and
Xolile Mngeni, along with hotel receptionist Monde Mbolombo, and Tongo were all
arrested. All of the suspects admitted their involvement in the heinous crime.
There, was, however, a twist to their alibi, which would throw investigations,
and subsequent court cases, into a tailspin.
All the accused alleged that they had been hired by Shrien
Dewani to carry out the murder of his wife and, further, to make it appear as
though it was a ‘hijacking gone wrong’. The ‘murder-for-hire’ plot became
Prosecutors immediately formulated charges against Shrien,
who, at that time, had already returned to the UK under a cloud of suspicion.
All those arrested were duly convicted and sentenced to
lengthy terms in prison. Tongo pleaded guilty to the armed robbery, kidnapping
and murder of Anni Dewani and was sentenced to 18 years in prison.
Shrien was eventually extradited back to South Africa, to
face trial in 2014. Charged with five offences; conspiracy to commit
kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances, murder, kidnapping and obstructing
the administration of justice – Shrien pleaded not guilty.
Shrien, exonerated and finding love again…
The claims of an assassination plot, brought forward by Tongo and his cohorts, were found to be contradictory and unsubstantiated. As such, Shrien was acquitted and exonerated of all involvement with the murder of his wife.
Recently, Shrien’s same-sex relationship with Gledison Lopez Martins, sparked further controversy. Anni’s parents commented:
“We accept he did not murder Anni, but he lied to us and had a very secret gay life. He owes us an apology for his lies.”