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Dewani messages revealed in court

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British businessman Shrien Dewani and his newly-wed wife Anni sent each other “playful” phone messages days before she was killed in November 2010, the Western Cape High Court heard on Wednesday.

Francois van Zyl, for Shrien Dewani, re-called investigating officer Captain Paul Hendrikse to show him the Blackberry phone messages his client and his client’s wife sent to each other.

He was trying to place these messages within the context of two e-mails Hendrikse testified on, on Tuesday, which suggested the relationship was fraught with tension.

In the e-mails sent on November 5, 2010, Anni had threatened to leave him and later, said she would let his mean comments go in return for him being upfront with her about his feelings.

Van Zyl read out the phone messages sent on November 4 and November 5, 2010, to Hendrikse.

In the exchange, the couple teased each other and used sexual innuendo.

“Do you agree with me that is bantering between two people who obviously have affection — we won’t use the word love — for each other?” he asked.

The policeman replied that he agreed.

Deputy Judge President Jeanette Traverso asked if the officer knew these messages existed at the time of the investigation.

Hendrikse said he did.

Dewani is on trial for allegedly plotting with shuttle taxi driver Zola Tongo and others to kill Anni while they were on honeymoon in Cape Town in November 2010.

He has pleaded not guilty to charges including kidnapping, murder and defeating the ends of justice.

He claims the couple were hijacked as Tongo was driving them through Gugulethu in his minibus on Saturday, November 13.

He was released unharmed and Anni was driven away. She was found shot dead in the abandoned minibus in Khayelitsha the next morning.

The State alleges he conspired with others to stage the hijacking in return for R15,000.

He maintains that Tongo helped him organise a surprise helicopter trip for Anni for R15,000.

Tongo is serving an 18-year jail term and Mziwamadoda Qwabe a 25-year jail term.

Xolile Mngeni was serving life in jail for firing the shot that killed Anni, but died in prison from a brain tumour on October 18. SAPA


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