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Johannesburg - A diamond ring worth more than R340 000 abandoned on the blood-soaked back seat of a taxi should be viewed as evidence that Anni Dewani was murdered in a hit, says her family.
A photograph of the ring and other images of the bloody crime scene emerged at the weekend, published by the British tabloid The Sun. The pictures of the slain woman were supplied to the newspaper by her own family.
According to the article, the family of Dewani – the Hindocha family – said the pictures were proof that she was executed in cold blood and not the victim of a bungled robbery, as her husband Shrien Dewani claims.
Other photos handed in, but not published because they were too harrowing, showed Anni, 28, sprawled dead in the VW taxi.
Her black mini dress is neatly in place on her body, not forced up or hiked around her waist. Her shoes are still strapped on her ankles.
The family said this proved that claims that the killer’s motive was sexual were false.
They believe that the crime scene photographs show that she was the victim of neither a robbery nor a sexual crime, but rather the target of a direct hit.
The Hindocha family has been vocal, repeatedly calling for millionaire Shrien Dewani, 32, to stand trial for his alleged part in plotting to kill Anni.
“These pictures tell their own story. If this was a robbery, why would they leave behind a £25 000 ring?” asked Anni’s uncle, Ashok Hindocha.
“If she’d been fighting for her life or raped, her dress would be dishevelled and she’d be covered in bruises. But the only injury was the single gunshot wound which killed her,” he claimed in The Sun’s article. Anni had been shot in the neck at close range.
Scanned copies of The Sun’s article appeared on the Facebook page titled “Anni Hindocha (aka Dewani) – What Really Happened”.
Anni and her husband Shrien were allegedly hijacked in Gugulethu in November 2010, two weeks after they were married.
They were on their honeymoon, and were being escorted around the city by taxi driver Zola Tongo, employed by Shrien, who made contact with him at the airport. It is alleged that Dewani hired Tongo to have Anni killed.
Tongo and accomplices Mziwamadoda Qwabe and Monde Mbolombo have admitted their roles in the murder and, under plea bargain agreements, have received lighter sentences in exchange for their testimony against Shrien Dewani and hitman Xolile Mngeni.
Mngeni, 25, has been convicted of firing the bullet that killed Anni.
In December the terminally ill drug dealer was sentenced by Cape Town High Court to life in prison for the murder.
Dewani is the only suspect still to face trial in South Africa in connection with the killing.
In December Westminster Magistrate’s Court heard that Dewani was terrified to travel by car, but may be fit to face trial this year.
South African prosecutors believe the Bristol businessman masterminded the incident.
Dewani insists that police evidence against him – which includes CCTV footage of meetings, witness testimonies, records of phone calls and claims of a secret homosexual life – can all be innocently explained.
His alleged role in Anni’s murder was not addressed during Mngeni’s three-month trial.
A bid to extradite Dewani to South Africa has been delayed until July while he is being treated at a mental hospital, following an apparent breakdown.
He has denied any involvement in Anni’s murder.