Question for Analyst: Did Husband Know his wife's killers?
Statement analysis is in bold type. This is a good example to highlight the principle that what someone reports, in an open statement, in the negative, it is very important. When he offers that he "can't" identify the carjackers who shot his wife, it is very sensitive to him. Why can't he? This means that he is limited. Normally, this is not offered as a subject has hope that his memory might be triggered. By stating from the beginning what he cannot do, he is seeking to quell the flow of information.
Dewani: I can't identify the carjackers who shot my wife on our honeymoon
Doomed: Shrien Dewani at his marriage to Anni Hindocha
Honeymoon murder suspect Shrien Dewani told police he could not describe his wife’s alleged carjackers and killers.
He detailed how the carjackers had burst into the taxi carrying him and bride Anni and robbed them at gunpoint.
In his initial witness statement, he told how the men sped off with him and Anni before eventually bundling him out of the cab.
Anni, 28, was later found shot dead in the back of the abandoned taxi.
The cabbie Zola Tongo has been jailed for 18 years in Cape Town after admitting his role in the murder.
He claimed that Dewani, 31, offered him £1,600 to arrange the killing.
Last week Dewani, who owns care homes in the Bristol area, faced a legal bid to extradite him from Britain to stand trial in Cape Town. The proceedings resume in July.
Dewani’s statement, obtained by The Mail on Sunday, on the day of the murder last November shows he at first failed to provide a detailed description of the men.
A day after the initial statement, police asked for a second affidavit to ‘clarify certain aspects’.
It is not known whether he was later able to give a more detailed description of the carjackers.
In the statement, Dewani says: ‘I will not be able to describe the male that was driving the car. I can only say the other male was very black, he had two piercings in his right ear. I will not be able to describe his facial features.’
Here, he appears to offer what he cannot do. This is immediately noted as in the negative. Next we note that he uses the word "only" which means he intends to restrict.
Note that he again adds, in the negative, what he will not do. He said, "I will not be able" instead of "I can't" which may indicate that his refusal is an exercise of his will.
Being unable to describe the two males is highly important to him. This should lead investigators to learn if he knows them.
Specifically he mentions "facial features", the most identifying part of a person, yet includes two piercings. Note that he did not say he saw earrings, but piercings. This indicates a close look at the one.
He says he tried to hide his mobile from the carjackers but they searched him and found it.
‘The male put the gun into my ear and put his finger on the trigger and said to me if I lie again he will shoot me,’ Dewani says.
‘My wife Anni kept crying and screaming and told the males not to hurt us.
Please note the appropriate social introduction using both her title (wife), possessive pronoun (my) and her name. Note that she "told" the males, is also appropriately strong language. Had he used "said" it would have been soft language, which is inappropriate. This sentence is likely truthful.
Note also: He is consistent with "males" and "male".
Regarding "told" versus "said", the wife is appropriately strong towards the assailants. It is expected. But now note:
‘The one male pointed the gun at me and said that I must make her shut up or he will shoot one of us.
This is where liars mess up: his wife "told" (strong and appropriate) the assailants. Now, as the assailant is speaking to him, he uses softer language, "said" which would indicate that the male with the gun is polite to Dewani. (the subject)
Anni gave me her wedding rings valued at £25,000. I gave the rings to the male.’
Note the spirit of cooperation between the "male" and the subject.
Note also his need to put a value on it.
Between the male and the subject there is soft language.
Between the male and the subject there is cooperation. He didn't hand over the rings, he "gave" them to the male, just as she "gave" them to him. He uses the same wording in transferring the rings from his wife, as to the assailant.
Tragic: The Dewanis were on their honeymoon when they were carjacked in a South African township
Dewani says they went to the crime-ridden township of Gugulethu at Anni’s suggestion.
‘Zola took us into Gugulethu because my wife insisted to see how the nightlife in the townships was,’ he says, adding: ‘At a road turning left, I heard a knock on the windscreen. I then saw two black males. One opened the driver door and the other the passenger side door.
Here we come to the highly sensitive portion of his statement where he is blaming his wife. He calls her "my wife" and not by her name. He gives the reason why they went to a certain area. instead of just telling us what happened. This is outside of the boundary of the question of what happened and is highly insensitive. That he spoke of the value of the rings and that she wanted to see "the nightlife" are important.
Below are the handwritten statements photographed. If transcripts exist, the times mentioned in them might make for a good example of measuring the statement on its form and its pace. (Lines per hour)
Details: Shrien Dewani's handwritten police statement from the night his wife was murdered
‘The driver then started driving very fast over speed bumps, causing the car to jump in the air.
‘The driver stopped the car and I asked where they are going to leave Anni.
The one is called "the driver"
Note that "asked" is polite language.
Note that he only asked where they were going to "leave" Anni. What caused him to presume that they were going to leave her? Why would he think that only she was going to be left?
Why would he presume that he was still going with them? This should be considered in light of the soft, cooperative language between him and the males.
‘The one male said that they will leave Anni at the police station.
‘The one male pulled me out of the car. I tried to pull Anni with me but the other male held her arm. The car then sped off.’
Anni, from Mariestad, in Sweden, was found dead in the taxi with a bullet wound in her neck.
Strain: Shrien Dewani (second right) arrives with supporters for his extradition hearing in London
The two alleged carjackers, Mziwamadoda Qwabe, 25, and Xolile Mngeni, 23, have been charged with murder. Their trial has been postponed until June 1.
Dewani is on bail but is being held at a mental health hospital in Bristol suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and severe mental illness.
In an earlier judgment during the extradition proceedings, a judge said there was no basis to suggest that Dewani failed to co-operate with the investigation.
The judge added that until his arrest Dewani had said that he would return to South Africa to assist an identification parade of the suspects.
Dewani’s lawyer Charlotte Harris said: ‘He co-operated fully with the South African police. He assisted their search operation by providing the mobile number for the taxi driver.
‘This has been corroborated by a witness, Simbonile Matokazi, interviewed by The Mail on Sunday.
‘The South African police, despite travelling to the UK earlier this year, have refused to even interview Mr Dewani regarding the allegations by the taxi driver.’
By beginning his statement with the repetition that he would not identify the two males, it suggests that he wants to conceal their identity. This suggests that he may have known them.
Next, we have the softer language used by him regarding the males. This is in contrast to the stronger language of his wife towards them.
Then we see cooperation between him and one of the males, of whom he gives his wife's rings to.
Finally, we have him appearing to know their plans, that he was to be with them.
Taken together, he appears to know the assailants who killed his wife, and is deceptive about being unable to identify them.