LACK OF EVIDENCE IS NOT EVIDENCE OF LACK.
Imagine, that you came home to find your home in disarray, and several valuable items missing; you would probably conclude that you had been burgled. You might then call the police, who would naturally retrieve their CCTV footage and hand it to Professor Fraser and his side-kick, Jeremy Vine, for analysis. Alas, finding no burglar on the tape, Jeremy and the Professor would inform the police that you weren’t burgled, and therefore you’re a LIAR.
This imaginary scenario is not as silly as it seems, because Jeremy Vine and Professor Fraser can be seen to have applied similar reasoning in assessing the truth of Mbolombo’s and Tongo’s statements…
MBOLOMBO THE LIAR
Vine says at 26:13 “Yet the phone records in the police files reveal Shrien Dewani made no such call to Tongo. So Mbolombo is lying.”
This is not logical at all. It could be that the phone records are not complete. It could be that Shrien Dewani called from a different phone. It could also be that a phone call was received from someone else, and Mbolombo could have been mistaken about the identity of the caller.
Vine is not entitled to jump to his conclusion that Mbolombo was not truthful.
THE PHANTOM PHONE CALL
22:15 Tongo: “Dewani called me at about 11:30 am. He asked me to pick him up at the hotel.”
22:23 Vine: “But phone records in the police docket show there was no call.”
22:30 Fraser: “We know that this is simply not true.”
22:33 So it worries you that something – even one thing that Tongo says is untrue – that starts to worry you.
22:41 Fraser: A single thing that was inconsequential, even a number of things that were inconsequential wouldn’t worry me, but there are really quite a few things here which are plainly untrue.
22:58 Vine: Half an hour after the phantom phone call, Tongo arrived at the Cape Grace to pick up Shrien.
As presented here by Panorama, it seems Professor James Fraser has made the same simple error of logic as Jeremy Vine. The fact that a call is not included in a list cannot prove that the call wasn’t made. Could a man of Professor Fraser’s standing make such an elementary mistake, or is this another example of Panorama editing in an expert’s comment where it suits them? What evidence do we the audience have, that Professor Fraser’s comments relate to Tongo at all? Fraser does not identify Tongo as the subject of his comments, and the accompanying video footage is CCTV of Shrien and Anni at the Cape Grace. The only mention of Tongo comes from Jeremy Vine, in a black-background interview question which could easily have been recorded and edited in separately.
In this case, not only is it possible that the phone records were incomplete, but there is compelling evidence that there was in fact communication: Tongo came to the Cape Grace and picked up Shrien Dewani half an hour later. So how, without telepathy, could Tongo have known to come and pick up Shrien? And why would he lie about the trivial detail of a phone call in any case?
THE RINGS OF TRUTH
Vine asks at 42min 54sec:
“If this was murder made to look like robbery, why not take the rings?“
You may ask “What’s wrong with that question?” as at first glance it appears to be a valid question. But it is in fact a deception based on a logical fallacy, which can lead the unwary to the opposite of truth. The act of “taking the rings” is a kind of robbery. It is not a kind of murder. The logical connection can only exist between “robbery” and “taking the rings”. There is no reasonable connection with “murder”. So the logically correct question should have been:
“If this was robbery, why not take the rings?“
We examine this in more detail in the separate section: “THE RINGS OF TRUTH”
DID MBOLOMBO REALLY HAVE A GREATER ROLE?
The programme claimed that Mbolombo had testified to only introducing Tongo to Qwabe and that he had no further involvement in Anni’s murder.
They then over-sensationally attempted to portray Mbolombo as a liar by showing CCTV footage of him handling further calls from Tongo and claimed this proved he had a much greater role than SA Authorities had said.
Where did Panorama get details of the Cape Town court hearings from?None other than Dewani supporting journalist Dan Newling.
Every other journalist who sat through the same Mngeni trial reported clearly the extent of Mbolombo’s full involvement – he admitted to handling calls throughout the evening: