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ANCYL criticises Dewani ruling

Shrien Dewani is seen in the Western Cape High Court. File photo: Nardus Engelbrecht

Shrien Dewani is seen in the Western Cape High Court. File photo: Nardus Engelbrecht

Published Dec 9, 2014

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Johannesburg - The ANC Youth League in Tshwane on Tuesday said it was dejected by the high court ruling that saw British businessman Shrien Dewani walk free.

“We note with dejection the court judgment arrived at by Judge (Jeanette) Traverso to exonerate Shrien Dewani as a murder accused,” regional chair Lesego Makhubela said in a statement.

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Western Cape High Court Deputy Judge President Jeanette Traverso on Monday granted Dewani's application for his discharge on the charge of killing his wife Anni in November 2010.

Makhubela said there was an overriding social interest in the case, particularly given the abuse of women and children in South Africa.

Traverso ruled there was not enough evidence to convict Dewani. She said it was regrettable that many unanswered questions remained about what happened the night Anni was killed, but she could not be swayed by public opinion.

“If any court allowed public opinion or emotion to influence the application of the law, it would lead to anarchy,” she said.

The only possible reason to refuse Dewani's application was in the hope of him implicating himself during his evidence, which Traverso said would be an injustice.

Makhubela said the ruling set a bad precedent in how the justice system dealt with crimes against women and children.

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He said Traverso should have looked at the entire picture instead of “the non-uniformity” in the State witnesses' evidence.

Makhubela said the judgment gave additional credibility to claims that the South African justice system was compromised and easily manipulated by privileged persons.

Sapa

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