Anni Dewani murder: South African police to talk to Shrien Dewani about death of anti-apartheid GP Dr Pox Raghavjee
It was the scene of one of the most notorious massacres in the history of South Africa. Here in the shadow of the Bhisho football stadium 28 ANC supporters were gunned down by police as they marched for freedom. Nearly two decades on and the deserted spot is now significant for another horrific act of violence.
This week it became the latest focus of the investigation into British millionaire Shrien Dewani, 30 – accused of murdering his bride Anni, 28. It was here, three years ago, that a popular anti-apartheid GP was murdered in an execution-style killing now being linked to Dewani. South African police announced this week they want to talk to the care home boss about the carjacking and murder of father-of-three Dr Pox Raghavjee.
Dewani has family links to the doctor and was comforted by his widow Heather in Cape Town following Anni’s death. Yesterday the private detective investigating possible links between the two murders took the Daily Mirror to the scene of so much bloodshed. Armed with a Smith and Wesson pistol, Christian Botha led us to the rubbish strewn track where the doctor pleaded for his life before being shot through the back of the head.
While a brown granite monument stands close by remembering the victims of the 1992 massacre, no such memorial exists to the popular doctor. Only mud and discarded plastic bags lie on the patch of scrub where his body was found at 10am on October 29, 2007. Christian, a cold case specialist, said: “This place has a lot of meaning to the people here. Now it’s the home of more bad memories for another reason.” The detective has been quietly investigating the murder since January on the instructions of the doctor’s widow. He is following in the footsteps of another investigator who spent two fruitless years on the job.
Dad-of-four Christian admits it’s one of his toughest challenges, with no apparent motive and no forensic evidence. He said: “There were no fingerprints, ballistics evidence or weapon found. It was totally clean, a professional job.” Christian says there are a number of hitmen available in the area for less than £1,000 a kill.
On the morning of October 27, 2007 Dr Pox set off on his usual 8am journey to work but failed to show up at his surgery.
Two hours later a goat herder found him in blood-soaked surgery whites, slumped near his green Mercedes.
Journalist Denver Donian, 42, saw the man he had known since the age of 12 moments after police arrived.
He said: “He had been dragged out of the passenger seat. It was horrific, there was Jblood all over the car but nothing had been taken, apart from the keys.
“We can’t understand why anyone would want to kill such a popular family man. The community was devastated.”
Robbery was ruled out as a motive after the doctor’s mobile phone, 500 Rand (£45) in cash and his watch were left at the scene. “Motive is the million dollar question. If we can find that we find the killer,” Christian said.
Both Anni and Dr Pox were killed by a single bullet to the head while the cars they were in were not stolen. Dewani, 30, is an old friend of Dr Pox’s daughter-in-law Alvita, who lives near him in Bristol.
Widow Heather visited Dewani in Cape Town after his wife’s murder and last week she flew to Bristol to be with her son and daughter-in-law.
She said last week: “We went through a lot when my husband was murdered. But I had support from family members. We came to Cape Town to give support to the widower and his parents.”
South African police have since linked the two murders for the first time. Dewani is now fighting extradition to South Africa after he was implicated in his wife’s murder by jailed taxi driver Zola Tongo.
Tongo told police Dewani had boasted about arranging another murder. Dewani denies any involvement in either.
It has also emerged that a second suspect in Anni’s killing could be a link between the two murders.
Hotel receptionist Monde Mbolombo told police he was asked by Dewani to hire two hitmen. He is from East London, close to where Dr Pox was killed.
Christian is looking at Mbolombo’s movements in King William’s Town and any possible links to Dr Pox’s murder.
Before we leave he says: “What really gets me is the fact Dr Pox was a prominent campaigner against apartheid and ended up dying close to where so many of his fellow strugglers fell.”
In a message to Dewani, Anni’s father Vinod Hindocha said: “Go to South Africa. Let the world know what happened. Give us justice. That’s what I ask for – justice for my innocent daughter.”
KEY TO CARJACK KILLING
October, 2010 Dewani and Anni are married in Mumbai, India.
Nov 7 The couple fly to South Africa for their honeymoon.
Nov 12 They arrive in Cape Town.
Nov 13 The couple’s taxi is ambushed in notorious township Gugulethu. Their driver is freed immediately and Dewani is let out later but Anni is kept captive.
Nov 14 Her body is found in the taxi in another township. She’d been shot dead.
Nov 16 Xolile Mngeni, 26, is arrested in connection with the killing.
Nov 17 Dewani returns to the UK. Nov 18 Mzwamadoda Qwabe, 26, is arrested. Mngeni appears in court charged with murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances.
Nov 20 The Dewanis’ driver on the night of the ambush, Zola Tongo, is arrested.
Nov 22 Tongo and Qwabe appear in court charged with murder and hijacking. Anni’s dad, Vinod Hindocha, says that he loves Dewani like a son. Dewani hires PR agent Max Clifford.
Nov 23 Dewani says that claims he was involved in the killing “defy logic”. Nov 24 Dewani’s brother says the widower is receiving medical assistance.
Dec 7 At a Cape Town court Tongo is jailed for 18 years and claims Dewani offered £1,300 to kill Anni. Dewani’s family dismiss allegation as “ludicrous”. Dewani is arrested in Bristol.
Dec 9 Police sources claim to have CCTV of Dewani handing cash to Tongo.
Dec 10 Dewani granted bail in London.
Dec 13 It emerges police are probing links with the carjacking murder of Dr Pox Raghavjee in South Africa in 2007.
Dr Pox Raghavjee, pictured here with his wife Heather. His killing has never been solved
There are similarities between the murders of Anni and Dr Pox. Shrien Dewani is a friend of Dr Pox’s daughterin-law Alvita.
The deserted rubbish-strewn wasteland close to the Bhishoo football stadium
Christian Botha, a cold case specialist, is investigating the links between the two murders