SAfrican police chief claims he knows why NRI killed his wife

H S Rao

London, Jan 19 (PTI) South African police chief GeneralBheki Cele has claimed that his detectives have uncovered amotive which explains why NRI businessman Shrien Dewaniallegedly killed his bride while on honeymoon in Cape Town andplans to disclose it at the extradition hearing here tomorrow.

General Cele told the country''s news channel thathis officers now know why Dewani commissioned two hitmen tokill his wife Anni Dewani on November 13 last year.

However, he refused to give away the alleged motive,saying that "it will be revealed at an extradition hearingscheduled to take place in London this Thursday."

Anni Dewani, 28, was killed after the taxi she and herhusband were travelling in was hijacked as it passed through adirt poor township outside Cape Town.

Although four South Africans have been arrested inconnection with the crime � and one sentenced to 18 years injail � the country''s police insist the plot was ''masterminded''by Dewani himself.

Dewani, who is currently on bail in Britain, denieshis involvement. According to a report in The Daily Mail,Dewani may return to South Africa to face trial over taxi gunmurder of his honeymoon bride.

His supporters point out that the South Africans havefailed to provide even a flimsy motive which would explain whyhe allegedly killed his wife.

They also claim that the South Africans'' naming ofDewani as a suspect is a ploy to detract attention from thecountry''s appalling crime rate.

General Cele is a controversial, outspoken figure inSouth Africa. A career politician, he had no policingexperience before taking on the top cop''s role last year.

Four days after Anni was killed, he insisted thatDewani was ''not a suspect'' in the case. He later admitted thathe had been lying.

And after Dewani was formally named as a suspect, thepoliceman described him as ''a monkey who came all the way fromLondon to murder his wife''.

The commissioner''s comments are likely to be used byDewani''s defence team as evidence that he would not get a fairtrial in South Africa.

Meanwhile, the case''s senior detective LieutenantColonel Mark Barkhuizen is currently in London, where he hasreportedly asked British police to help his investigation.

Tlali Tlali, spokesman for South Africa''s Ministry ofJustice, described the murder case again as a ''puzzle'', thepieces of which the country�s detectives are still puttingtogether.

He said: "The idea here is to put pieces of the puzzletogether and be able to present a watertight case in court,should Dewani be extradited to South Africa to stand trial."

He went on to reveal that South Africa has requested"mutual legal assistance" from the British authorities,explaining: "We have a reason to believe that there are leadsto be pursued there [in the UK] that could help us put piecesof the puzzle together." PTI HSR

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