Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Honeymoon Murder of Anni Dewani

A Planned Hit

The Dewani's seemed to live a dream come true, but their ill-fated trip into the heart of Gugulethu destroyed that dream. Anni was dead. Britain responded with a national lamentation, an outpouring of sympathy and outrage rarely seen in the stoic nation. To have a young life and blossoming love extinguished so callously by the lawless thugs of a South African slum was beyond belief to many Britons. It was understandable — who wouldn't respond to the killing in such a manner.

South Africa struggles to maintain its image as a tourist-friendly destination. Fear that the nation's tourism industry would be damaged compelled the already committed police force to work even harder, and mere days after the murder the killers were apprehended.

Zola Tongo appears in court.
Zola Tongo appears in court.
By November 20, two residents of Gugulethu, Xolile Mngeni and Mziwamadoda Qwabe, both in their early twenties, and, shockingly, the Dewanis' driver, Zola Tongo, were charged with aggravated robbery and murder. But things may not have been as they appeared.

Almost as soon as the authorities arrested the three killers, they began to hint that the murder might have been a pre-planned assassination. On December 18, 2010, Shrien Dewani's account of events began to unravel when Tongo testified that Anni Dewani was the target of a premeditated killing, one arranged and paid for by her husband.

UPDATE: Qwabe pleads guilty, says Dewani hired him, Mngeni and Tongo.

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