Murder victim memorial school plan


Shrien Dewani with his wife Anni (Bristol Evening Post)

The family of a British businessman accused of ordering the brutal killing of his wife on their South African honeymoon plans to build a school in her memory.

Authorities are seeking to extradite Shrien Dewani after a taxi driver serving time for his part in the horrific crime claimed the wealthy care home owner set a hit man on Anni. But her 30-year-old husband denies any involvement in the death of the bride who friends and relatives have described as “the woman of his dreams”.

His family is now planning to join with 28-year-old Anni’s family to create some good out of the tragedy that has struck them all by building a school in India, where they have roots. The two groups of relatives will fund the project using thousands of pounds in donations from well-wishers.

A close family member of Dewani’s said: “We’ve collected over £15,000 jointly between the families from people who wanted to pay tribute to Anni and that money’s going to be used to build a school in India in her memory.

“Anni’s been taken from us all and we won’t get her back but what we can do is give to, and help, other people.”

To this end, a page has been set up online by a Dewani family member so the public can donate to a residential school for about 500 students from the tribes around the border of Dang in Gujarat and Nashik in Maharashtra in the west of the country.

“Even people who didn’t know Anni have been donating,” the family member said.

And while Dewani has received the full support of his local community in Westbury-on-Trym in Bristol, the families have also been overwhelmed by a wave of international support.

“More than 500 letters and emails have been received from all over the world, ranging from South Africa to China, India, Korea, Kenya, Australia and America,” the Dewani family member said.

“People are saying ‘I don’t know you, I don’t know the family, but I believe you.'” Dewani was granted bail in the British courts earlier in December, pending a full extradition hearing in the New Year.

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