Life before and after Anni’s killingComment on this story
Cape Town - More than three years have passed since Anni Dewani was murdered in November 2010. Her husband, Shrien Dewani, who is accused of orchestrating the killing and has fought against extradition, is expected to arrive in Cape Town on Tuesday. Here is a look at the names and faces affected by the crime and what their lives were like before the murder of Anni Dewani.
* Shrien Dewani - A decade before he was accused of masterminding his wife’s murder, Dewani appeared to be an up-and-coming businessman.
This was according to a profile posted on the International Network for Asian Businesses website relating to Dewani’s older brother, Preyen Dewani, which also gave details of Dewani’s life.
The profile said Dewani’s grandfather, Prabhudas, emigrated from Kenya to the UK where he set up a business with Dewani’s father, Prakash, a pharmacist.
Dewani, 33, was born in Bristol and grew up in his family home, named Prabhu Krupa Villa, in Westbury-on-Trym.
He studied at Bristol Grammar School and then the University of Manchester. According to the profile, Dewani spent a gap year working for the accounting firm Arthur Andersen before travelling to Ghana as a volunteer aid worker.
“Returning to complete his studies (at the University of Manchester) he went on to qualify as a chartered accountant with (the firm) Deloitte,” the profile said.
About nine years ago, Dewani joined his family’s health-care business, PSP Group Ltd, which operated nursing homes and retirement developments across the South West and Wales, where his brother was managing director.
Dewani married Anni in a traditional Hindu ceremony in India weeks before she was murdered.
* Anni Dewani - About a year before her murder, Anni, 28, had moved from her home town of Mariestad, Sweden, to the UK - this was where Dewani was based.
In a previous e-mail conversation with the Cape Times, Anni’s sister Ami Denborg said Anni had worked as an engineer for cellphone company Ericsson.
Denborg said Anni had always wanted a family and children of her own.
“She was the kind of person who people remember, because she always made an impression. She was very good at making you fell good about yourself... And she was like that to everybody she met, and that’s one thing that is so amazing about her. Normally you don’t find positive things in people you meet for the first time, but she could,” Denborg said.
She said Anni was not the sort of person to have planned things in advance, but that Anni had planned her wedding to Dewani on her own.
Anni’s father, Vinod Hindocha, has travelled from their home town in Sweden to Cape Town on numerous occasions for court appearances of those now convicted.
He plans to return should Dewani go on trial.
* Mziwamadoda Qwabe - At the time of Anni’s murder, the 29-year-old, from Khayelitsha, was unmarried and the father of three children. Court documents said he had been unemployed and occasionally helped his mother at her meat selling business. It said Qwabe’s highest level of education was a certificate in electrical engineering from the Western Province Technical College in Pinelands. The papers said Qwabe had no previous convictions and had shown remorse by pleading guilty.
In the Western Cape High Court two years ago Qwabe apologised to Anni’s father, Vinod Hindocha, and her cousin, Nishma Hindocha, who were present in the room.
Qwabe entered into a plea bargain in August 2012 and was sentenced to an effective 25 years in jail. He is serving this sentence.
* Zola Tongo - According to court documents, the 34-year-old’s highest level of education was Grade 12 at Malibu High in Blue Downs.
Tongo, who drove Shrien and Anni Dewani around when they were in the city for their honeymoon, entered into a plea and sentencing agreement about a month after Anni was killed.
He has served roughly three years of an effective 18 years behind bars.
At the time of his plea, he was the father of five children.
Court papers said Tongo, who had lived in Bothasig at the time, and his younger sister had been primarily raised by his grandmother, while his mother had worked full time.
They said Tongo had been “in the throes of severe financial difficulty” when Shrien Dewani had approached him.
Tongo had worked as an insurance consultant, shuttle driver and building site inspector, among other things.
The papers said until Anni’s murder, Tongo had been “a productive member of the community” and had supplemented the “meagre” income of his mother who had worked as a domestic worker.
It said Tongo was a first-time offender and “showed sincere remorse by pleading guilty”.
* Xolile Mngeni - He was raised by his grandmother in Khayelitsha. Months after Anni’s murder, Mngeni’s grandmother Zanyiwe Mngeni told the Cape Times she brought up Mngeni, now 26, and his brother Lwando after their mother died when he was aged five.
“Xolile was a very good, quiet child. He had to leave school in Grade 10 because I couldn’t afford the fees any more,” Zanyiwe Mngeni said.
Lwando told the Cape Times that Mngeni loved dancing and dreamt of becoming a choreographer. As Xolile got older, though, Lwando said, he started mixing with the wrong crowd.
During Mngeni’s protracted trial, a witness, a Khayelitsha teacher, testified that on the day Anni was found murdered, Mngeni tried to sell her a BlackBerry cellphone.
He said he wanted R500 for the phone because he needed to buy clothing to go to initiation school.
Another witness testified that on the day Anni was found murdered, Mngeni went to the V&A Waterfront with friends, bought himself name-brand clothing, had a meal, then later told his friends he had shot someone.
In May 2011 Mngeni was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumour and was treated successfully.
Mngeni was sentenced to life imprisonment in December 2012.