Dewani relatives attack allegations

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Shrien Dewani with wife Anni who was shot dead last month as they visited a township in South Africa

Anguished relatives of Shrien Dewani have revealed how he had been “torn apart” by “ridiculous” allegations that he plotted to kill his wife while they were on honeymoon.

They spoke out after the businessman was subjected to a stream of slurs following the brutal murder of his bride Anni – ranging from his alleged payment to her killers to a rumoured homosexual affair with a rent boy.

Mr Dewani’s family and supporters also insisted he has been scapegoated by South African authorities who are anxious to protect the country’s tourism industry, describing the police case against him as “flimsy” and “flawed”.

Speaking to the Independent newspaper, a close relative said: “Shrien is torn apart by it all. He has been robbed of the love of his life and is grieving, and now he must deal with all these ridiculous allegations.”

Relatives and friends denied the widower fled South Africa to deny justice and claimed he had been painted in an “inaccurate” and biased light by the world’s media.

They also pointed to claims by a lawyer acting for the two men accused of the murder that his clients were “tortured by police” before signing confessions.

Care home owner Mr Dewani, 30, believes the murder allegations are based on evidence from men “who have everything to win and nothing to lose from inventing a story”, according to his supporters.

His lawyers are planning legal action against those responsible for spreading allegations he had homosexual liaisons with a German rent boy, they said.

Mr Dewani is also said to be frustrated that the media could not talk openly to his family due to legal constraints.

A video of the couple’s Hindu wedding ceremony, in which they are seen singing Bollywood love film lyrics to each other, was released on Saturday by relatives, adding to their claims that Mr Dewani was “deeply in love” with his Swedish-born wife.

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