We’ve heard BBC Panorama’s Jeremy Vine calling Tongo a liar quite often, mostly regarding telephone records. Can we believe his assessment of the following CCTV footage?
- 52min 54sec Vine: “Holding a white plastic bag, Shrien meets him in the lobby and they enter the internet room which has no cameras, although other guests are in there. After just over a minute, Shrien leaves, minus the bag, Tongo 10 seconds later with the bag under his shirt. He heads straight to the gents.”
- 53min 19sec Tongo: “The bag contained an envelope which contained 1,000 Rand. I realised that Dewani had not paid me the full 5,000 Rand as we previously agreed.”
- 53min 29sec Vine: “Tongo left the hotel with the bag in clear view. He says he went looking for Shrien, having realised he’d been short-changed, but CCTV reveals that to be untrue.”
Jeremy Vine makes no reference to the strangeness of a guest in a 5-star hotel paying an illegal taxi tout with money hidden in a white bag. He doesn’t ask why Dewani couldn’t pay him openly in the car park or in hotel lobby, where Mr Hindocha (murdered Anni’s father) was sitting?
Instead Vine suggests:
- 23:44 Jeremy Vine: “And yet the money trail could be a massive problem for South African prosecutors.”
- 23:58 Jeremy Vine: “After Shrien had picked up the 10,000 Rand – about 900 Pounds – there’s no proof it was ever handed over to the gunmen.“
- 24:07 Jim Fraser: “The money just seems to vanish. It no longer seems to feature either in the physical carrying out of the crime, or the post-crime benefits.“
- 50:44 Jim Fraser: “It’s not at all clear if this money was in the vehicle, despite lots of talk about it being in the cubby hole. The money has simply… has never been seen anywhere along the line.“
Given the alleged criminal nature of the transaction, it is hardly surprising no financial records are available. What are Professor Fraser and Jeremy Vine expecting? An audit trail?
But Vine knows more than he admits. He chooses to stay silent, but in 2012, Vine interviewed a witness who saw Qwabe and Mngeni turn back and retrieve an envelope from the vehicle before running away.
If this evidence does not now form part of the police docket, why not? Did Panorama provide details of that witness to their forensic experts, or to police? And if so, is it in the supposedly “complete” information obtained by Panorama? And if the information was not passed on to police, why not? That surely would lay Panorama open to accusations of covering up evidence and interfering with the course of justice.
The South African prosecution have proof that Dewani had at least 21,000 Rand from exchanging currency. There are ATM records, money bureau records, confessions from the gunmen admitting to receiving 15,000 Rand, CCTV of a clandestine exchange of a white plastic bag, and an eyewitness account confirming that the gunmen retrieved an envelope from the rear of the taxi before running away.
“This week City Press also tracked down a young woman who says she saw two men fleeing the scene of the crime after they abandoned the “hijacked” taxi in Litha Park, Khayelitsha, at about 1am on December 14, with Anni Dewani’s body inside.
The woman, who asked not to be named as she lives in the same area as the two men charged with the murder and fears for her safety, said she had been mugged and robbed of her mobile phone earlier that evening and was trying to trace the thieves with the help of two friends.
She noticed the taxi pull up and stop, and then the door opened and two men got out and ran away – but one then turned and got back into the vehicle, according to the alleged eye witness.
“He jumped in and then came out holding an envelope and they both ran down the road,” she said.”
Why didn’t Jeremy Vine speak about this witness in the current, 2013 programme?
Why does Jeremy Vine suggest that this is a problem for the prosecutor, but not for Dewani?
Why is there no suggestion that given the witness testimony against him, it is Shrien Dewani who needs to account for the money?