After a one year on Anni Dewani’s murders case her best friend breaks her silence. Anni was killed after two weeks of her dream wedding. She was kidnapped and shot dead on her honeymoon in South Africa on last November 13.
One year on Sneha, 28 Anni’s best friend, is haunted by the thought that the pre-wedding change of heart cost Anni her life. She told the Sunday Mirror: She was crying and absolutely serious about calling it off.
She said that I wish I had just told her to come home, and then she would still be here today. She also added in it that she regrets for that and she is going to have to carry it with her for the rest of her life.
Anni’s bridegroom was accused of organizing her murder, which he denies. At a court hearing set for December 13 he will appeal against a judge’s decision to extradite him to South Africa to face police questions.
Sneha and Anni was a childhood friend they shared their dreams for the future, with Anni’s heart set even on a big Indian wedding.
Sneha said that whenever Anni talk about her future husband, so she always said that she didn’t care about the religion or wealth, she just wanted a person as her life partner who would love her, understand her and care for her.
Sneha said that Anni was a girl of beauty and vivacious personality she was so lively and caring girl. She always thinks about others first then only she thinks about her. She said that after completing her engineering she had put her career plans on hold to help her mother Nilam, who was having cancer treatment.
On May 2009 Anni’s met with the Bristol businessman Dewani during one of her trip to UK with her. She spent about an hour with him in Starbucks and got impress with his behaving pattern.
On March 2010, Sneha and Anni had moved together from Sweden into a flat in Luton, two months later Anni and Shrien’s families met in Bristol, and in June Dewani proposed her with a £25,000 ring over dinner at the Ritz in Paris.
She accepted his proposal and got married with him. After so few days of marriage she went to South Africa for honeymoon.
Sneha said that it was the last day on party when she met with Anni after her three days of marriage, after that when they both left for South Africa she was shot dead in the impoverished Gugulethu township on the outskirts of Cape Town last November 13.
Dewani, 32, has claimed he and driver Zola Tongo were forced out of their taxi before Anni was driven away and shot once through the hand and neck.
But Tongo, 31, since jailed for 18 years for his role in the killing, claimed in a plea bargain that Dewani had offered him 15,000 South African rand (£1,200) to arrange his wife’s murder.
Sneha said that she got a phone call from Anni’s sister on the night of the killing that Anni has been murdered. She said that a week later Anni’s funeral she was helping her best friend’s body to dress up, and “Shrien was there and he was treating her body so roughly. He was trying to put bangles on Anni’s arms but they wouldn’t fit and he was really squeezing her arm. She screamed at him to stop doing that, he was hurting her.
She said that He didn’t seem gentle or emotional with her, he was more like a robot. The last thing he had to do was put a red mark on Anni’s forehead to symbolise the union between man and wife. With no emotions, he just swiped his hand across her forehead and walked out of the room.
Sneha is now planning her own wedding, without the best friend she always thought would stand at her side as chief bridesmaid.
She said: It’s a pain inside that I live with every day. I want Shrien to go to South Africa as soon as possible. We want to know the truth and we will only know that when the evidence is challenged and witnesses are cross-examined in court. We will fight as long as it takes… for Anni.
Report by Dushyant Tiwari