The newlywed husband whose bride was murdered on their South African honeymoon has told of their carjacking ordeal.
Shrien Dewani said he was dragged screaming away from wife Anni, 28, after being attacked by gunmen as they visited a township in Cape Town. She was found shot dead in the vehicle the next day.
He also rejected speculation that he was somehow involved in the incident earlier this month, saying: “People who suggest this could not have seen us together.”
Mr Dewani, from Westbury-on-Trym in Bristol, described how he saw an African man hammering on the windscreen of their VW Sharan taxi during their late night visit, before gunmen broke into the vehicle.
“I tried to cover Anni with my body. She started to scream and cry out hysterically,” the 30-year-old businessman said. After shoving their driver in the back, the carjackers then drove around at speed and almost lost control, also holding a gun to his head and threatening to kill his wife, he said.
“I was clinging to Anni for all I was worth – begging them to let us both get out of the car together. But they wouldn’t listen. They couldn’t get me out because the child locks were activated – so they ended up dragging me struggling and screaming out of the window.”
He added: “Anni was the ‘One’. Her looks, her laughter, her personality, her spirit – everything about her was right for me. Why would I want to kill her? Saying I was somehow involved defies logic.”
The couple’s driver on the night, Zola Tonga, appeared in court on Monday charged with the murder of Mrs Dewani. He and Mzwamadoda Qwabe, 26, from Khayelitsha, appeared at the Wynberg Regional Court in Cape Town to face charges of murder and hijacking, the South African Police Service said. The case was adjourned to next Monday while further investigations are carried out.
Mrs Dewani’s father Vinod Hindocha has also spoken out in support of his daughter’s husband, whose wedding took place just two weeks before the killing. He said: “Further to recent reports in several newspapers I would like to state that my relationship with Shrien is a good one and I love him like a son. Whoever did this to my daughter are criminals who need to be caught and put behind bars.”
A third person, 26-year-old Xolile Mmgeni, from Khayelitsha, is due back in court on Thursday to face charges of murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances.