, JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, Oct 6 – A British millionaire goes on trial Monday accused of masterminding the murder of his wife during their honeymoon in Cape Town four years ago.
Businessman Shrien Dewani’s case is finally up for judgement after he lost a three-year extradition fight in Britain and was ruled mentally fit to stand trial.
He was sent back to South Africa in April to answer charges over the murder of his Swedish-born bride Anni (née Hindocha), who was shot dead on November 13, 2010.
Dewani, 34, is accused of orchestrating the hit by hiring three South Africans to kill his 28-year-old bride.
He denies the charge and claims that he and his wife were hijacked at gunpoint as they drove through Cape Town’s impoverished Gugulethu township in a taxi.
Dewani escaped unharmed, but his wife’s body was found in the abandoned car the next day.
The three South Africans have been tried and convicted and are serving jail sentences of between 18 years and life for their role in Anni Dewani’s death.
Taxi driver Zola Tongo admitted guilt in a plea bargain along with another man, Mziwamadoda Qwabe. The two were sentenced to 18 and 25 years in prison respectively. READ: S.Africa court orders mental tests for honeymoon murder suspect.
A third man, Xolile Mngeni, was later found guilty of firing the shot that killed Anni Dewani and was sentenced to life imprisonment.
Tongo’s claim that Dewani had offered him 15,000 rand (Sh118,000) to have Anni killed is expected to play a key role in the prosecution’s arguments.
The case has angered many in South Africa who accuse Dewani of callously using the country’s reputation for violent crime to murder his wife in the belief that he would get away with it.