Bit of a surprise

I’ve not been following the evidence:

Shrien Dewani, the British businessman accused of having his wife murdered in a fake carjacking during their Cape Town honeymoon, has been sensationally cleared of her murder.

But not exactly the result I expected.

21 thoughts on “Bit of a surprise”

  1. He hasn’t been cleared: the prosecution cocked up and his delaying tactics paid off so one witness died in the interim, justice is based on legal procedure not smelling highly of fish. I hope his in-laws sue his sorry arse until he is utterly broke, then one of his “encounters” goes too far.

  2. The prosecution was based on allegations by those involved in the killing which didn’t stand up to scrutiny, being riddled with contradictions and with utterly impausible claims without supporting evidence. He hasn’t been cleared, merely freed because the prosecution didn’t present any credible evidence.

  3. James: “he has been found not guilty” and “he did it” are absolutely compatible, and anyone who claims otherwise doesn’t understand how the law works.

    In the event of a defamation case, Ljh would have to demonstrate on a balance of probabilities that Dewani did it, which might well succeed based solely on the evidence presented to the South African court.

    This is the same standard of proof that would be required in a civil case brought by the victim’s relatives (so if the victim’s relatives were to bring a civil case and lose, then Ljh’s defence would be more troublesome).

    OJ is a pretty obvious example of someone who did it, who was rightly acquitted because the cops and prosecution cheated and lied, but who was found in a civil court to have done it.

  4. The whole case seemed to hinge on the proposition that the chap, within 30 mins of meeting the taxi driver (main prosecution witness who was offered a sweetheart deal, and clearly lying through his teeth) hired him to bump off his missus — it never passed the smell test imo.

  5. @”The whole case seemed to hinge on the proposition that the chap, within 30 mins of meeting the taxi driver (main prosecution witness who was offered a sweetheart deal, and clearly lying through his teeth) hired him to bump off his missus — it never passed the smell test imo.”
    I agree who would ask a stranger on meeting them please kill someone for me.
    Also one of the killers said that it wasn’t true (the one who later died of a brain tumour)

  6. James S: I don’t say he’s guilty, because that was unproven but taking one’s beloved, after dark, to the selfsame ugly slum one drove past in broad daylight from the airport en route to a luxury hotel, is bizarre behaviour.

  7. ^^^^^^ — Eh? Unless he was personally directing the cabbie on which route to take – I’d say driving through a slum was entirely the decision of the driver for the express purpose of meeting his mates who were planning to rob the Dewanis.

  8. Anyone with half a brain and an idea of what South Africa is like would never go anywhere near a place like that, not least because it would be very easy to have the job carried out within two streets of the hotel while your unsuspecting wife has just nipped out (on your request) to get a copy of the local paper or ‘fetch something from the car’.

    This would have the benefit of i) not making people wonder what the fuck you were doing sitting in the back of a cab on the way to meet two armed, unpredictable, semi-feral savages and ii) not have you run the risk of them deciding to top you both for whatever you have on you.

    The whole thing always sounded strange.

    BTW thanks to JohnB for expaining how the law works. Is there anything this guy’s not an expert on!

  9. Khayalitsha township is not the sort of place to visit during the day let alone after dark, and certainly not without an armed escort.

    So in my opinion, two things happened here; either the Dewanis were completely naive and we’re victims of a terrible crime, or Dewani was looking for an out of the marriage and did do what has been alleged.

  10. Dan, he had to leave the main highway into town, the N2, well signposted, and take a slip road into Gugulethu that first crosses the highway by a bridge. In his initial briefing to the police he claimed that they had heard of a community restaurant which is sometimes included in daylight guided tours, obviously he hadn’t booked or called ahead or any of the usual way dinner out is organised and simply HAD to investigate.

  11. Mrs Bloke is really keen to visit South Africa next year. As there seem to be a few people knowledgeable about the place, is there anything I should watch out for while there?

  12. Guilty? Innocent? It has been plain for a while that dismissal would be the outcome. The prosecution made a mess of their case, which rested in the end on deeply flawed witnesses. The accused employed good attorneys and exercised his right to silence. The law says he didn’t do it. End of story, for now.

  13. BiG: stay out of townships, lock the car doors if travelling in (avoidable) dodgy areas and drink lots of local wine. There’s plenty to see/do without acting like an idiot. Most people, all shades, more helpful by an order of magnitude than anywhere people are paid by the state to be helpful.

  14. So Much for Subtlety

    Bloke in Germany – “Mrs Bloke is really keen to visit South Africa next year. As there seem to be a few people knowledgeable about the place, is there anything I should watch out for while there?”

    http://www.economist.com/node/334329

    Softer precautions are, however, equally useful. Teaching employees how to drive defensively (check who is outside your front gate before stopping, beware at traffic lights) can reduce the risk of car-jacking. Explaining what to do when faced with an armed robber or kidnapper (co-operate, don’t make sudden moves or eye contact) can make the difference between a scary experience and a fatal one. Some foreign firms in South Africa even offer “pre-rape counselling” to female expatriates and their daughters.

    I have a quick rule of thumb – don’t go to countries where you are routinely offered pre-rape counselling.

    dearieme – “Beware of the humans.”

    That is not fair. The Afrikaners are very nice. Just don’t call them Jaapies. You only need to beware of the vibrant, diverse multicultural ones.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *