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  1. Shrien Dewani cleared of arranging the murder of his wife Anni in South Africa
  2. Judge says evidence was "far below the threshold" needed for conviction
  3. Shrien Dewani was accused of arranging murder on honeymoon in 2010
  4. Anni's family say they believe they have been failed by the justice system

Live Reporting

By Ian Parker and Chris Kelly

All times stated are UK

Get involved

That concludes our live coverage of reaction to the dismissal of the case against Shrien Dewani, who was formally cleared of ordering the murder of his wife Anni.

For the latest on the story

follow our coverage here.

Shrien Dewani's UK return

Andrew Plant

BBC News

We understand he's due to fly back - as a free man - to the UK tomorrow [Tuesday].


  • Shrien Dewani is cleared of the murder of his wife Anni on honeymoon in South Africa
  • Prosecutors claimed Mr Dewani had paid Zola Tongo to organise her killing in Cape Town in 2010
  • Judge Jeanette Traverso criticised evidence from Tongo, saying it was unreliable
  • Anni's family, who had called for Mr Dewani to give evidence, say they are heartbroken

Newspaper reaction

The Independent has

looked at why the murder case against Shrien Dewani was thrown out and in particular the problems with the prosecution case.

ITV's Rohit Kachroo looks as the "

lies, errors and inconsistencies" surrounding the case and specifically the key witnesses.

The Telegraph examines how revelations of a

gay double life and liaisons with male prostitutes could have helped Shrien Dewani's case.

Convicted killers

Three men have already been convicted for their part in the murder plot. Zola Tongo, whose evidence was so criticised in court, was jailed for 18 years.

Mziwamadoda Qwabe is serving 25 years in jail. Xolile Mngeni was serving life for murder but died in jail from a brain tumour in October.

But now, there could also be a new trial as fixer Monde Mbolombo had his immunity revoked by Judge Jeanette Traverso.

'A bad case'

South African criminal lawyer Milton de la Harpe said he was not surprised the case had finished early.

He said from the outset the prosecution had a weak case with a single witness.

"It is not an indictment on the criminal legal system [in South Africa] it was just a bad case," Mr de la Harpe added.

South Africa justice system

Mr Classen said he agreed with the view of Judge Jeanette Traverso, who said she was aware of public opinion on the case - but said it would be "anarchy" if this had any influence.

"People in this day and age feel it is proper to express their opinions and not to hold back. Judges cannot be swayed by public opinion."

Justice system 'fair'

Eddie Classen, a lawyer with BDK Attorneys in Pretoria, said the case had helped demonstrate South Africa's legal system was fair.

Mr Classen denied the evidence against Dewani was "embarrassing" and added: "The justice system is not just there to convict people, it is also there to acquit people who are innocent.

"The courts must be trusted. It is a cornerstone of any democratic society. This is a positive for the justice system."

Homecoming flight?

When Shrien Dewani left the UK for trial in South Africa he flew out on a private jet from Bristol Airport.

Asked if there were chartered or scheduled flights due from Cape Town in the next few days, a Bristol Airport spokesman said he was "unaware" of any plans at the moment.

Suspicions 'evaporated'

Andrew Plant

BBC News

At the start of the day it was impossible to say how this would go... and impossible to say if it would take five minutes or five hours to sort.

As the verdict was delivered... all those suspicious hanging over Shrien Dewani evaporated.

Dream wedding to nightmare

Shrien Dewani's dream wedding to Anni Hindocha turned into a nightmare honeymoon in South Africa.

Shrien and Anni Dewani's wedding
Bristol evening post

We explore how their

life was turned upside down by the violent hijacking.

One email from Anni to Shrien showed the "strain". It read: "You did say if u saw in crystal ball how this marriage would been like then you wouldn't got married."

But hours later he replied saying "I did NOT say I regret things" and that "I love you. You know that."

Relationship strain

The trial heard that Shrien and Anni Dewani's relationship was tempestuous, with emails and texts showing different sides to their marriage.

On messaging service BBM, the pair enjoyed risqué conversations. But emails showed there were arguments and Mr Dewani spoke of wanting to get out of the marriage.

Honeymoon background

The Dewani wedding in Mumbai took place over three days before 200 guests.

Mr Dewani previously said that South Africa was chosen for the honeymoon partly because neither of them had been before and partly because the acronym SA matched their initials.

They flew first class to Johannesburg and stayed at the five star Chitwa Chitwa game lodge in Kruger National Park, before heading to Cape Town and the Cape Grace hotel.

Violent township?

Gugulethu township, where Anni was shot, is described as "colourful, vibrant and lively" on Cape Town's tourism website.

But according to Africa's Mail and Guardian,

more than 700 murders took place there in the five years before Anni died.

The township is home to about 100,000 people.

Who is Shrien Dewani?

Mr Dewani was privately educated at the £11,000-a-year Bristol Grammar School, before going on to read economics at the University of Manchester.

Shrien Dewani

After qualifying as an accountant Mr Dewani began work at Deloitte in London, where he met his future wife through mutual friends.

He later returned to Bristol to run the family firm, PSP Healthcare, which operates eight nursing homes in the South West of England.

Mzwa Simelane

tweets: Why didn't the state ensure that they had an airtight case before even initiating the lengthy and costly extradition process?#DewaniTrial

'Justice system failed us'

Outside court, Anni's sister Ami Denborg said: "The justice system has failed us."

'In our prayers'

As Anish Hindocha left court, supporters held photographs of his sister Anni with text reading: "You are in our thoughts and prayers."

Anish Hindocha

The Hindocha family called for Shrien Dewani to take the stand and give his side of the story during his trial.

In dismissing the case, Judge Jeanette Traverso said the only reason not to grant the application would be in the hope that Mr Dewani would implicate himself if he gave evidence.

But she said to do so would be "manifest misdirection".

Consoled by public

Following the verdict that cleared his son-in-law, Anni Dewani's father Vinod Hindocha left Western Cape Crown Court.

Mr Hindocha, who called for Shrien Dewani to take to the stand last week, is consoled by members of the public.

Vinod Hindocha

The Dewani family

Shrien Dewani's family, including his parents Snila and Prakash, attended each day of the trial to support their son.

Shrien Dewani's parents, Snila (left) and Prakash (right) leaving the Western Cape High Court on 24 November

Mr Dewani lived with his family in the Westbury-on-Trym area of Bristol before the wedding. Anni had been due to move in with them.

The Dewanis were described as "the main pillar of the Hindu community and Hindu Temple" in Bristol.

Newspaper reaction

The Bristol Post says Shrien Dewani, a businessman from the city, was

cleared after a "laughable" prosecution case while the Western Daily Press says the evidence was "roundly dismissed" by Judge Jeanette Traverso.

The Times in South Africa

says "Dewani walks free" and the
Cape Times says the Dewani family "burst into tears" at the verdict.

And South Africa's News 24 said

"the ruling is a blow to the reputation of South Africa's State prosecutors".


  • Shrien Dewani has been cleared of organising the murder of his wife Anni while on honeymoon in Cape Town in 2010
  • The case was dismissed by Judge Jeanette Traverso, who said key witness Zola Tongo was unreliable
  • Anni's sister says all the case gave the family was more questions
  • Hindocha family confirms it will seek legal action against Shrien in the UK courts
  • Mr Dewani will spend the night in the Valkenberg hospital facility

'Shoddy police investigation'

South African National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Nathi Ncube denied the case had collapsed because of a "shoddy police investigation".

He said: "The judgment centres around evidence that was given by three people.

"Nothing has been said about the police, nothing was said about how the prosecution could have done better.

"The fact of the matter is that we were relying on people who were themselves involved and implicated in the case."

Union ended in tragedy

The Guardian

reports on how the two families came together but how the union ended in tragedy.

Shrien and Anni Dewani at their wedding

"He is inevitably described as a Bristol businessman but the Dewanis have global links and connections," the newspaper says.

But, the paper points out, "quite what Anni knew of his sexuality remains unclear".

Family looking to file lawsuit

Anni's family have said they will attempt to sue Shrien Dewani in the UK courts.

"We will now go through this case with our lawyers to confirm whether we can file a lawsuit against Shrien Dewani in the UK," a statement from uncle Ashok Hindocha said.

Hiring a hitman

The South African State's case rested on the assertion that Shrien Dewani had asked Zola Tongo - a taxi driver he'd met 30 minutes earlier - to hire a hitman for him.

But how easy is it to find somebody in South Africa willing to commit murder for money?

According to

one journalist, Sandiso Phaliso, it is very easy. He found three in one day.

Three hours delivering verdict

Judge Jeanette Traverso spent almost

three hours delivering her verdict today.

The decision means the case is thrown out without a defence having to be mounted in court.

The prosecution had alleged that hitmen had carried out the killing for Mr Dewani for 15,000 rand - less than £1,000.

'My dearest little sister'

Ami Denborg, Anni Dewani's sister, said outside court: "The knowledge of not knowing what happened to my dearest little sister... will be with my family for the rest of our lives.

"We hope no other family will ever have to go though what we have been through."

'Live without ever knowing'

Ashok Hindocha, Anni Dewani's uncle, has released a statement saying the family "will always live without ever knowing" what happened.

Memorial to Anni Dewani

"We would have preferred that Shrien Dewani went into the witness box and told in his words what happened after he was accused of her murder," he said.

"We know now that he was having gay sex with male prostitutes and declared himself bisexual on the first day of his trial."

No statement from Dewanis

Andrew Plant

BBC News

The Dewani family will not be making a statement on the steps of Western Cape Crown Court today.

'All we got was more questions'

Anni Dewani's sister, Ami Denborg said they wished Shrien had been "honest" about his "double life".

Ami Denborg

In court, it was revealed Shrien is bisexual although it is not known if his wife Anni knew.

"We came here looking for answers, we came here looking for the truth. All we got are more questions," she said.

Dewani 'has left court'

Shrien Dewani is believed to have left the court, without making comment, through a side entrance.

No right of appeal

The BBC's Karen Schoonbee, who has been in court for the whole trial, says there is no right of appeal over Judge Jeanette Traverso's verdict.

The judgement brings to an end the legal proceedings in South Africa.

Judge questioned

Outside, supporters for both families clashed over the case, with the Justice4Anni group again questioning Judge Traverso's role as presiding judge in the case.

Anniversary of Anni's death

It was the fourth anniversary of Anni's death during the murder trial.

Relatives of Anni Dewani prayed and lit candles at the site where she was found on the fourth anniversary of the murder

Her relatives, who had been attending court, prayed and lit candles at the site where her body was found in Khayelitsha township near Cape Town.

Night at psychiatric hospital

Andrew Plant

BBC News

Shrien Dewani will spend tonight in the Valkenberg Psychiatric Hospital.

Mr Dewani has been suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder since his wife was killed.

'We believe he was involved'

South African National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Nathi Ncube told reporters: "It is unfortunate that Mr Dewani has been acquitted because we believe that he was involved.

"Justice is indeed about making sure that where there is a case we successfully prosecute it, and where we think there is sufficient evidence to take the matter to court we do so."