Forensic review of Dewani murd

Forensic review of Dewani murder docket finds ‘damning’ discrepancies

Following a ruling that Shrien Dewani can be extradited back to South Africa to face trial, a BBC Panorama report screened this week reveals further ‘cracks’ in the case.

Forensic review of Dewani murd


A review of the South African Police Services Honeymoon Murder case has raised doubts to Shrien Dewani’s involvement in the killing of his wife, Panorama revealed last night.

The Honeymoon Murder: Who Killed Anni managed to obtain the South African police docket on the case — including phone records, CCTV, filmed forensic evidence and filmed suspect interviews.

This docket was taken to be analysed by forensic experts, who found “damning” discrepancies in the evidence, the show states.

This isn’t the first time Panorama has shown an interest in the murder. Last year, presenter Jeremy Vine highlighted “significant cracks” in the case.

The latest documentary revealed that the man convicted of fatally shooting Anni, Xolile Mngeni, is the only suspect to have not entered a plea bargain.

Mngeni and Shrien had not met before or after the murder, the BBC claim, yet their statements match.

anni dewani ringInconsistencies

The docket also revealed that there were major inconsistencies with taxi driver Zola Tongo’s — the man charged with setting the murder up — statement and CCTV footage.

For example, Tongo said that on the last night Anni was alive, he was late to take them to dinner. He claims Shrien rang him agitated and demanded his wife’s imminent murder.

CCTV and phone records show the call took place. However, Shrien was sat next to his wife the whole time, didn’t seem agitated and had been kissing and hugging her all night.

Tongo said that upon dropping them off the the restaurant, Shrien stayed back and shouted at him, demanding why his wife was not dead.

CCTV and a witness statement shows that Shrien went in first, leaving no time for the conversation to have taken place.


Panorama took the docket to leading forensic scientists in the UK, who suggest that the shot was accidental.

South African police have said that Anni was cowering on the back seat and was shot from a distance that would imply intent.

Dr Richard Shepherd, a Forensic Pathologist for the Home Office, disagrees that she was in a defensive position when shot. He said: “There is no evidence of any blood splatter against the seat around the site of the recovery of the bullet.

“If you have been pushed back against it as the bullet exited the body it could have caused damage and splatter around that point and there isn’t any so she is either leaning forward or sitting forward at the edge of her seat.”

Forensic firearms consultant Mark Mastaglio suggested that the size and shape of the soot mark on her hand suggests the gun was shot from a close range, potentially less than 5cm.


The show, which pulled in 3.1 million viewers according to the Guardian, came under fire from Anni’s family this week as they claimed the BBC was interfering in the justice system.

Social media channels last night showed the split in opinion regarding whether Shrien is guilty.

“Panorama last night…  Dewani is innocent. Sorry but CCTV doesn’t lie. Those men are idiots if they think they’ll get away with it,” said @emmarbeatty.

Whereas @Justice4Anni said: “Leave murder cases to the professionals, not amateur TV shows.”

Despite Panorama veiling their evidence in rhetorical questions, the presentation of the evidence points to Shrien’s innocence.

The crucial text messages sent between Tongo and Shrien cannot be discovered, the BBC learnt, which means there are still crucial questions that need to be answered.

Among them; Why did Shrien hire Tongo instead of using the hotel shuttle bus? Why was Tongo paid at the end of the holiday with cash in a plastic bag that he then put in his trousers? Where did the money Shrien withdraw from the bank go? If he wasn’t involved, why did he leave South Africa so soon?

What you think about the show? Comment below.

If you missed the show, catch it on BBC iPlayer.