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Anni Dewani was not the sort of person who planned things in advance.
But one thing she went out of her way to plan was her wedding to Shrien Dewani.
A few days ago, nearly one-and-a-half years after Anni’s murder and following a media frenzy surrounding Dewani’s extradition appeal outcome, her sister Ami Denborg opened up to the Cape Times, sharing intimate memories of her sister and how she constantly misses her.
At the end of March, British authorities announced that, after taking Dewani’s appeal against his extradition into account, they had decided to halt proceedings to extradite him on mental health grounds.
Dewani is wanted in SA to stand trial for Anni’s November 13, 2010 murder, which he is accused of masterminding.
In about two weeks his co-accused, Mziwamadoda Qwabe and Xolile Mngeni, are expected in the Western Cape High Court ahead of their possible July trial.
In an e-mail correspondence with the Cape Times, Denborg described how she felt that she was in a constant nightmare.
She said about two weeks ago she had gone through e-mails Anni had sent her.
About a year before her murder, Anni had moved from her hometown of Mariestad, Sweden to England.
One of the e-mails Anni had written, partially in Swedish, to Denborg said: “Om jag dor ska du veta I LOVE UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU,” which translated means “If I die, I want you to know that I love you.”
Denborg said Anni had sent her this e-mail after moving to Britain because she was preparing to drive there for the first time and was not used to driving on the left-hand side of the road. (Motorists drive on the right-hand side of the road in Sweden.)
“That really hurts… I did not believe that she would actually die. It was just something we talked about.”
Denborg, who has children, said Anni had longed for her own children and a family.
“She was always saying to me: ‘Ami, will I ever love my own kids as much as I love yours?’ I would always answer her: ‘You will love them more, they are your own.’
“She had a lot of dreams. But I think mostly she enjoyed every day of her life as it came along and made the most out of it. She was not a person who planned things… although she did plan her wedding on her own.”
Denborg recalled how social Anni had been.
“She was very caring and loved to spend time with friends… She loved to cook. Whenever she came to my house she ‘took over’ the kitchen and always made great dinners for us.”
Anni had especially enjoyed eating ice cream with Denborg.
“We used to have daily contact with each other and she used to speak about all from heaven to earth with me. I loved to listen to her, she was so bubbly and it was just fun hearing all her stories.”
Denborg said Anni had enjoyed food, wine and going out.
“She loved wearing new clothes and getting dressed for special occasions.”
Denborg described her sister as beautiful, but said Anni sometimes lacked self-confidence.
While in Sweden Anni, an engineer, had worked for cellphone company Ericsson.
“After she left (for England) she had contact with a lot of her colleagues. She was a kind of a person who people remember, because she always made an impression.”
Denborg said Anni had always tried to make people feel good about themselves and showered them with compliments.
“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 thinks about her sister every day.
“She was a big part of my life and she still is. I miss her so much. She should have been here with me today. Me and her should have grown old together, all this shouldn’t have happened. Now we are stuck in a nightmare that never ends...
“I have a constant pain in my heart, because there is someone very special missing in my life. And that someone is Anni.”
Last week, Anni’s uncle Ashok Hindocha said all Anni’s family wanted was for Dewani to go on trial and that the family was struggling to cope. - Cape Times