12. SLURS & SLANDER

There are numerous instances where Panorama engages in outright abuse, slurs and slanders on South Africa and its institutions, despite the Panorama experts having not been at the court hearings, not met or interviewed the police officers, not met or interviewed the prosecutors, not inspected the actual carjacked vehicle, not inspected the actual gun nor spoken to any of the witnesses, nor met or interviewed the many experts who testified  at the trials, nor met or interviewed witnesses such as Mbolombo or Qwabe.

  • 03:58  Jerem Vine:
    “In fact South African police and prosecutors seem to have made up their minds already.”

“Already”, says Mr Vine, suggesting that police and prosecutors have rushed to judgement. Vine’s call to pass judgement on the police doesn’t sound quite so convincing when it is noted that a whole three years have passed. Three years of mental torture for Anni’s bereaved relatives, hoping and waiting for Shrien Dewani to provide a coherent and consistent account of what really happened to Anni.

Besides, it is hardly surprising that the police and prosecutors believe he had something to do with the events that fateful night. They are doing their job. They are pursuing the extradition of Shrien Dewani because they  have witness statements  implicating him in the murder of his wife. It would be quite shocking if the police were to charge people whom they thought were innocent bystanders.

What is not in question, however, is that when Shrien Dewani does finally face court in South Africa, he will face a fair trial, where he will have every opportunity to dispute the case against him. The judge in that trial, will be duty-bound to record every detail of his reasoning which leads to the verdict, whatever it is.

That is why many people wonder, if he is innocent, why does Shrien Dewani not attend that court voluntarily?

  • 55:15 Vine: “Just two weeks after Tongo’s arrest, the South African High Court rubber stamped it all. Shrien was now officially a suspect.”

Vine presents no evidence in support of this insinuation, that the assessment of Tongo’s plea bargain was “rubber stamped” without proper investigation of corroborating evidence. In fact, this is an extraordinarily biased statement for a program which purports to be investigating.

  • 47:27 Vine: “But are the South Africans right to say the forensics prove Mngeni was Anni’s killer? Was the gunman in the front passenger seat?”
  • 47:47 Vine: “So could the driver Qwabe, given a plea bargain by the state, have been the gunman?”

In an outrageous slur on the SA courts, Vine insinuates that Mngeni’s conviction might not have been soundly based, yet makes not a single reference in his entire program to the judgement record of the court, where the reasons for the verdict are explained in detail. That judgement record shows that the court did not rely on the forensic evidence alone to establish Mngeni’s guilt, nor was the forensic evidence presented as such proof.

  • 56:24 Vine: “But why apparently so little interest in establishing whether the taxi driver and the hotel receptionist were telling the truth? Could fears for South African tourism have played a part?”

Indeed, Mr Vine should answer that question himself. Vine has shown no interest at all in, as he says, establishing the truth by a fair and open process of investigation. To the contrary, as shown by the many examples in this dossier, he has time and time again hidden or failed to mention facts which support the prosecution; he has misrepresented the facts of the case, using altered video and sound records; suggested wrong conclusions using fallacious logical arguments.

  • 01:17 Vine: “Panorama’s obtained the police files and given them to leading forensic experts to review. Their findings are damning.”

What “findings”? Are they published and open to review anywhere? It seems that the “findings” which Vine refers to are not separate from his own highly questionable report. They are in fact his own “findings”. There is no transparency in exactly what evidence was provided to the experts for comment, and no transparency in the process of selecting which comments would be included in the program, nor is there any serious attempt, as pointed out separately in the “QUESTIONS OF BALANCE” section, to assess the relative importance of the issues.

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