UK's Senior District Judge Howard Riddle ruled Dewani will get a fair trial in South Africa.

UK’s Senior District Judge Howard Riddle ruled Dewani will get a fair trial in South Africa.

Not content with misrepresenting the South African prosecution case and the witnesses against Dewani, Jeremy Vine has crossed a red line in what appears to be a statement misrepresenting the UK’s Senior District Judge and Chief Magistrate.

At 57m32sec of the BBC Panorama programme, Vine says:

In July a British judge ruled that while not yet fit to plead he should return to South Africa where there are no juries to stand trial. He’s appealing.

By reporting his statement in one continuous highly ambiguous thread of the same sentence, Vine appears to be suggesting that it is the judge who made reference to there being “no juries”.  By then referring immediately after that statement with “He’s appealing”, Vine implies that is the ruling Dewani is appealing.

Senior District Judge Howard Riddle made no reference whatsoever to there being “no juries” in South Africa at any time during his judgment in July 2013.  The whole hearing and judgment related to Dewani’s fitness, nothing else.

Here is a full copy of the judgment of July of 2013:

Vine appears to be insinuating that a non-jury system would yield an unfair trial.

UK’s Senior District Judge Howard Riddle ruled in August 2011 that Dewani will get a fair trial in South Africa.

“I have complete confidence in the South African system of justice. I have been provided with a statement from Rodney de Kock, the DPP for the Western Cape Provincial Division of the High Court of South Africa. He has summarised the relevant constitutional rights underpinning the independence of the judiciary, the separation of powers and the framework of the constitutional law, particularly as it applies to criminal proceedings. His statement confirms the independence of the courts; the constitutional guarantee of a fair trial; that fair trial rights are enforceable; that the burden of proof is “beyond a reasonable doubt”; and that the court gives reasons for its decisions. The defence has not disputed the fairness of the South African judicial system. “

In his judgment of 10th August 2011, the UK’s Senior District Judge said: “In South Africa any trial of these allegations will be heard by a judge, almost certainly sitting with two lay assessors. The assessors themselves may well be experienced in the law. It is common ground that South Africa provides a fair trial process.


Furthermore, at no point in the hearing that led to the July 2013 judgment did Shrien Dewanis lawyers make any reference to there being “no juries” in South Africa. They had already accepted from previous hearings that Dewani would get a fair trial.

Even the UK High Court’s judgment in March 2012 confirmed Dewani’s lawyers position: “It was not contended that he would not receive a fair trial.


If the UK High Court does not question Dewani getting a fair trial, if the UK’s Senior District Judge rules he will get a fair trial, and if Dewani’s own lawyers conceded back in 2011 that he will get a fair trial and the UK High Court acknowledged that, on what basis and qualification is a mere TV Presenter attempting to insinuate otherwise with this rather cheap argument of “no juries”?

At 57m53sec on the Panorama programme, Vine reveals his bias further by asking a leading question to his so-called expert Jim Fraser “If you were him, would you go anywhere near South Africa?”, to which Fraser replies “I wouldnt, not given the quality of the investigation we have seen by the South African police.”

The fact that this staged question and answer is placed at the end of the programme, gives away the real motive of the makers – to try to falsely justify Shrien Dewani’s attempt to avoid standing trial and explaining the evidence against him.

If the investigation is as bad as Vine and Fraser portray, it would be a walk in the park for Dewani’s lawyers to rebut it in a court room before a judge. Why would they refuse to take that opportunity if the prosecution case was so flimsy, as they claim?

Dewani appealed on grounds of fitness to plead, nothing to do with juries or no juries and nothing to do with the quality of the police investigation.

The reality is juries are prone to influence by media and politicians. Thats precisely why the judge in the recent Nigella Lawson case  had to warn a UK jury to discard public comments about her by the Prime Minister David Cameron. Juries do not need to give reasons or explanations for their verdict, they simply pronounce guilty or not guilty and that is it.

Whereas a Judge is required by law in both the UK and South Africa to detail the applicable statutory laws and case law, he is required to explain his assessment of the evidence, and he is required to give fully detailed reasons for his verdict and publish it all.

In any event, on 31 January 2014, the High Court dismissed Shrien Dewani’s appeal (which Jeremy Vine falsely tweeted as a fight in court instigated by the SA Authorities) and ordered his extradition. The court said the interests of justice require expeditious trial in a murder case, now without further delay. It again confirmed the fairness of the South African judicial system. See the judgment here: http://www.judiciary.gov.uk/media/judgments/2014/government-of-the-republic-of-south-africa-v-dewani

However, the argument about the Panorama programme and Jeremy Vine here is not about systems of juries v judges. The point here is Jeremy Vine appears to have misrepresented the Senior District Judge Howard Riddle to millions of viewers on prime time BBC TV.

He should clarify the comments he made on Panorama immediately.



Dewani greets Tongo with a smile, 2 days after Anni's murder, and leads him into the quiet internet room with a white bag of cash.

Dewani leads Tongo into the quiet internet room with a white bag of cash, two days after the murder. The previous clip caught him greeting Tongo with a smile.

BBC PANORAMA constantly labels the taxi driver Tongo a “liar” throughout the programme. But let us take a look at who else calls Tongo a liar and since when they started doing so. Then we will examine if Tongo’s being called a liar is a credible claim by the Panorama team.


Shrien Dewani hugged and consoled taxi driver Tongo on hearing news of Anni’s death. In a tape-recorded interview, Dewani told Nick Parker of The Sun, “He was crying. It seemed the most natural thing.”

Dewani is caught on CCTV smiling at Tongo when he greeted him two days later, at the Cape Grace Hotel, to secretly give him money in a white bag; CCTV which his brother Preyen Dewani tried to seize from the hotel’s security manager but was beaten to it by South African police.

Shrien Dewani also spoke to Dan Newling of the Daily Mail about Tongo. He said, “Initially I had a lot of suspicion about the driver. But he spent all of Sunday helping the police and was able to answer all the police’s questions. By the end, I quite liked him.”

While back in the UK, he expressed doubt about Tongo’s involvement in the murder when he was first arrested by South Africa Police.

“If he really has done this, my faith in mankind has been totally shaken. How could someone who appeared so friendly and so trustworthy do something so inhuman?” 

So even when Tongo had been arrested for Anni’s murder, Shrien Dewani was highlighting his friendliness and trustworthiness.

In his signed statement to Police, Dewani frequently referred to the touting driver by first name, Zola, suggesting familiarity. But he doesnt always refer to Anni by name, instead calling her “my wife”:
Zola took us into Gugulethu because my wife insisted to see how the nightlife in the townships was”.

On Panorama, Jeremy Vine did not mention any of these positive references that murder suspect Shrien Dewani made to Tongo.

Tongo was then arrested. Having confessed his role in the fake carjacking and murder, Tongo received seven years off his sentence in a plea bargain but was still jailed for eighteen long years. He also lost his job. He said Dewani paid him to organise the murder and his testimony is supported with phone records, text message, CCTV footage, money movements and multiple other witnesses.

Suddenly, the Dewani propaganda machine and lawyer change their stance on Tongo. Tongo goes from being a nice, likeable, trustworthy guy to being called a “liar”.  Note that they did not primarily label him a murderer who killed Anni, but a liar.

Panorama continues with this “liar” label that murder suspect Shrien Dewani’s PR and legal team have put on the taxi driver. Tongo is repeatedly called a liar over and over again by the programme’s presenter, Jeremy Vine, as detailed below.

At 31m 8sec of Panorama, there is CCTV footage of Shrien in the lounge at the Cape Grace, talking on his mobile, and they have a voiceover of Tongo’s lawyer William Da Grass, saying, “Dewani demanded to know what the hold-up was, and insisted that the act be perpetrated, and be perpetrated that very day.”

At 31m 24sec, they show footage from the Cape Grace Hotel bar and Jeremy Vine says, “This is CCTV of that call. Shrien Dewani is holding the phone to his left ear; Anni’s side. He shows no sign of agitation, and according to Tongo, he insists on Anni’s murder when she’s sat right next to him.”

However, William Da Grass was NOT talking about the phone call seen in the CCTV. He was talking about Dewani telling Tongo in person, TWO HOURS LATER, 50KM AWAY at Surfside, where the two of them are seen walking together on CCTV with Anni is trailing several metres behind, that he wanted the job done that night. You can view an excerpt from the program showing that footage HERE.

Tongo’s court statement read, “I then drove to Surfside restaurant in the Strand. Shrien Dewani and the deceased had supper in the restaurant. Prior to entering the restaurant, Shrien Dewani asked me what was happening and said he wanted the job done that night.”

It is clear Tongo was referring to his conversation with murder accused Shrien Dewani, in person at Surfside. He was not referring to the phone call from the Cape Grace Hotel.

Panorama attacked Tongo’s credibility, by misrepresenting what he and his lawyer said, and showing different CCTV footage with the wrong audio.

So how many times did Tongo apparently lie, according to Panorama?


  • 53:42
    Zola Tongo: “I had no further contact with Dewani after that.”
  • 53:48
    Jeremy Vine: “Another lie. Phone records and CCTV show Shrien called him an hour and forty minutes after giving him the bag. Tongo’s testimony makes no mention of that 54 second call. That’s the sixth time the CCTV contradicts crucial evidence in his sworn statement.”

Panorama did not show this CCTV that Vine alleged exists. It could easily be that by “contact”, Tongo is referring to personal contact, as opposed to telephone communication.

But a 54 second call from Dewani to Tongo, several days after the murder, hardly seems to rate as “crucial evidence”, in the absence of any further detail concerning the call.


  • 31:03
    Zola Tongo: “Dewani called me in a agitated state to find out where I was.”
  • 31:24
    Jeremy Vine: “This is CCTV of that call.  Shrien Dewani is holding his phone to his left ear – Anni’s side. He shows no sign of agitation…”

Jeremy Vine claims to be able to tell, from grainy CCTV footage of the back of Shrien’s head, partially obscured by the furniture and table lamp, that Shrien “shows no sign of agitation”.

Vine’s credibility here is absolutely zero. When a person speaks on the phone, they express agitation in their voice, such as in the tone and choice of words. They don’t necessarily physically jump up and down, waving their hands around, cartoon-style.

Does Vine really think Shrien Dewani would have visually behaved liked this in the bar of a  5 star hotel?
Does Vine really think Shrien Dewani would have visually behaved liked this in the bar of a 5 star hotel?

Vine is unable to show Dewani’s facial expression or lip movements of “that call”. Vine does not have any audio recording of this call.  So how can he possibly claim there was “no sign of agitation”?


  • 22min 15 sec
    Zola Tongo: “Dewani called me at about 11:30 am. He asked me to pick him up at the hotel.”
  • 22min 23 sec
    Jeremy Vine: “But phone records in the police docket show there was no call.”

If there was no phone call, as Vine claims, how did Tongo appear at the hotel shortly afterwards, as if by magic, to collect Shrien Dewani alone, to take him to the money exchange? A trip which CCTV shows Dewani both exiting and leaving the hotel, and driving off with Tongo.


  • 28min 55sec
    Jeremy Vine: “We know from phone records in the prosecution file that not once after the gunmen met Zola Tongo did the taxi driver ever call Shrien and tell him the plan to kill Anni was in place for that night…”

Once again, Vine has set up a straw man argument in an attempt to discredit the case against murder suspect Shrien Dewani. Why would Tongo have needed to call Shrien? Dewani and Tongo had a long chat at midday, only two hours earlier, on their way to and from the Golden Touch jeweller to change his US Dollars to Rand. Tongo says the kidnap and murder plan, already agreed the night before, was finalised during that face-to-face conversation. There is evidence of text messages between them. They spoke at the hotel in person and they also spoke outside Surfside restaurant in person before the meal.

Vine does not offer any evidence or argument as to why Dewani would have needed Tongo to contact him again that afternoon.


  • Jeremy Vine claims that Tongo is not telling the truth about events at the Surfside Restaurant. He says that “if the timer on the CCTV is correct”, Tongo called Mbolombo “8 seconds after disappearing from view”.

As discussed in “THE 21 LOST SECONDS“, there are numerous reasons to doubt whether Panorama’s criticisms have any merit. Besides the fact that a threat “do it tonight or I’ll kill you” could easily be made in less than 8 seconds, there is an unexplained gap of 21 seconds in the CCTV footage, and it is not clear whether Tongo is referring to the internal entrance to the restaurant proper, or the external entrance to the building.

Furthermore, CCTV from the Colosseum shows Mbolombo apparently on the phone to Tongo with the time given by Panorama as 9:31 pm, so Panorama’s own statements on this issue are far from convincing.


  • According to Vine at 53:29, Tongo “says he went looking for Shrien, having realised he’d been short-changed, but CCTV reveals that to be untrue.”

There is no record in the publicly released statements from Tongo that says he was short-changed and went back to look for Dewani. The CCTV shows him strolling out of the hotel quite relaxed, swinging the white bag that Shrien Dewani had given him and which Tongo had earlier gone into the toilets with, most probably to check and count.

It is far from clear how Vine thinks the CCTV footage could disprove Tongo’s statement. The fact that Shrien called Tongo an hour and forty minutes later shows that in fact communication was ongoing between the the fare-touting driver of an unlicenced taxi, and the murder suspect husband.


  • 25min 55sec
    Mbolombo: “Tongo’s phone rings, and he said to me this is the guy on the phone. All I could hear was Tongo saying, ‘Yah I’m on my way, I’m on my way’. And then he puts the phone down and he says “Eish, this guy does not trust me.”
  • 26min 3sec
    Jeremy Vine: “Yet the phone records in the police files reveal Shrien Dewani made no such call to Tongo.”

Really? That still doesn’t make Mbolombo a liar. Mbolombo reports Tongo saying this is “the guy”. He doesn’t say “Shrien”. It is Vine who suggests that “the guy” is “Shrien”. The time of the call, in the early afternoon, and the reported content, strongly suggest that the caller was actually Qwabe.

Following the call, Tongo did not go to meet Shrien Dewani, but he did meet Qwabe and Mngeni in Khayelitsha. Tongo says “I’m on my way”, and shortly afterwards, heads to Khayelitsha and meets with Qwabe and Mngeni. This is not complicated. Yet Vine, who has all the telephone records in his possession, and who therefore knows who did make the call, conceals that information, and suggests that Mbolombo is a liar, because it wasn’t Shrien.

Tongo’s mother is reported in the Daily Mail of 5 January 2011:

Tongo’s mother, Liziwe, is ­convinced her son — who has five children, all by different women, and was badly in debt — told the truth in court.

 “Zola had never been in trouble. Why did this Englishman come to our country and tempt him?”, she asked me bitterly, speaking for the first time this week. “He has ruined our lives.”

Shrien Dewani and his team’s lack of concern for Anni’s death is reflected in their focus. Tongo doesn’t go from being a “nice guy” to being a “murderer who killed my beautiful wife”. There is not much focus on his murder confession at all.  Only to him being “a liar”.

3 Different Accounts
3 different accounts have so far been given of how Dewani met the taxi driver Tongo.

The Telegraph of 7 Dec 2010 said “Tongo, a limousine driver who offered himself for private hire, had been booked by Mr Dewani’s secretary to take the couple to the luxury Cape Race hotel.”

Dewani’s own family are then quoted in The Independent newspaper on 19 Dec 2010:
Question from journalist: “Did he pre-book the taxi before to be sure that they were picked up the alleged conspirators?

Family’s answer: “Definitely not. He considered pre-booking the Cape Grace Hotel car. Instead he picked up a taxi at the airport. Zola Robert Tongo was chosen because he drove a Mercedes.”

Its a fact that Tongo drove a VW Sharan, as shown on CCTV when he first arrived with the couple at the Cape Grace Hotel. He didnt have a Mercedes.

On 20 Dec 2010 Dewani’s family then claimed in the Bristol Post newspaper:
“They chose Tongo because he spoke fluent English and his car was in good condition.”

Incredibly, Panorama have gone so far as to alter the audio tape of Shrien’s interview to conform with that claim. If you want proof that the audio has been doctored, listen for the two distinctive “knock” sounds in the background, just before Dewani says  the word “secure” – listen to the original and altered versions at Example #1 HERE

So just on the small question of how did Dewani meet Tongo, 3 different answers have been provided by the Dewani family.

These and the other discrepancies are plain to see and expose yet again Jeremy Vine’s bias and willingness to distort facts in order to falsely accuse and besmirch the reputations of the key witnesses against Shrien Dewani – just as Dewani’s PR and legal team have been doing.


Panorama expect us to believe a story of a helicopter booking, never before suggested in the three year history of this case, to explain Dewani’s conversion to cash of large sums of money in the two days preceding the murder.

On Panorama at 26min 20sec, Jeremy Vine says,

“Shrien Dewani now had 10,000 Rand. £900 in cash. So why might he have needed so much if it wasnt to pay Anni’s killers?”

“We’ve learnt that before he was a suspect, he’d told people he was planning to surprise Anni. His plan? A romantic helicopter trip the next day.”

Here we have a classic case of Jeremy Vine trying to present a new claim in dramatic fashion, but revealing very little factual information to support his claim and conveniently omitting to name his source. He builds up his point with, not one, but two curiosity-raising questions, then drops a dramatic claim reinforced with library footage of a flying helicopter which is kept on screen for 15 seconds.

This dramatic announcement technique is something Vine does several times in the programme, such as when he claims the honeymoon couple had been “trying for a baby”.

Furthermore, Jeremy Vine’s alleged helicopter trip is no ordinary helicopter trip. Oh no, it’s far more special. Its a “romantic” helicopter trip. As if that’s not enough, he also wheels out resident Panorama forensic expert Jim Fraser to give his input (of which more is said below).

Before we examine Jeremy Vine’s new claim about the alleged romantic helicopter trip that has emerged suddenly after 3 years, we will first take a look at the significance of the money in the car.

What was the money in the car for?
One of the key pieces of evidence against murder-accused Shrien Dewani is that he sent a text message to the illegal taxi operator Tongo, telling him that the money was in the rear pouch of the front passenger seat in Tongo’s car. The Dewani family have admitted there is a text message about money from Shrien Dewani to Tongo.

Dan Newling wrote the following in his Daily Mail newspaper article on 6 November 2011:

Question 5: Why were there text messages between Dewani and Tongo about the money while they were in the car, with Anni alongside them?

“While driving, either on the way to Somerset West (a large town near Strand) or on the way back, I sent a text message to Shrien Dewani not to forget about the money”, Tongo writes in the confession he signed three weeks after the murder.

He answered by way of a text message that “the money was in an envelope in a pouch behind the front passenger seat”.

Those close to Dewani, however, claim that the money (it is not clear how much) was not a down payment on a murder. Rather it was cash paid up front for the days Tongo had agreed to work as the couple’s chauffeur. The reason for the text-messaging secrecy, they argue, is that the money included payment for a special surprise gift for Anni.

In Tongo’s court testimony, he says this money was for the contract killers who would later that evening stage a carjacking to kidnap, rob and murder Anni as per Shrien Dewani’s instructions to him.

In 2012, Jeremy Vine himself reported an interview with a witness who says she saw two men getting out of Tongo’s car, one going back to take an envelope, and then both running away. Yet Vine says nothing of his interview in response to Fraser who says “There is no proof it was handed over to the gunmen”.

But looking at the Affidavit of Hendrikse, a SAPS officer who apprehended the murderers, he said Qwabe confessed that before he let Tongo out of the vehicle, Tongo had told them the R15 000 Dewani had promised for the hit was behind the front passenger seat.  He testified that Qwabe and Mngeni then drove to Kuyasa in Khayelitsha where they let Shrien Dewani out of the vehicle as planned and agreed.

So the purpose of this money, which Dewani admits existed, is a key issue regarding his alleged involvement in the murder conspiracy.

Panorama’s “New Evidence”
For 3 years, the Dewanis have been unable to explain fully what the purpose of this money was or the actual amount, except for the vague reference in the newspaper above that it was given by murder accused Shrien to driver Tongo for advance tour guide fees for several days and included some “gift for Anni”. What the alleged gift was, how much it cost, who chose it, how and when they chose it, when and where it was to be bought from; all this vital detail has never been specified to substantiate the claim. The amount of the tour guide fees has not been specified.

So with the broadcast of Panorama, 3 years after the murder, we are now told by Jeremy Vine that the money was for a “romantic helicopter trip”. But he makes no mentions of the tour guide fees.

Where did this helicopter information come from?

BBC Panorama have claimed this was an independent expert analysis of a South African police docket. They have insisted they did not work with murder-accused Shrien Dewani, who is fighting extradition, nor his people, to produce the programme.

So when Jeremy Vine claims Dewani had “told people he was planning to surprise Anni”, exactly which people is he referring to? When exactly is Dewani supposed to have told these people? Who are these people – is it one person or several persons? What are the names of these people and why were they not named and interviewed on the programme if their information was deemed so critical to Shrien Dewani’s alibi?

Jim Fraser says on the programme: “There is this suggestion that it was for a helicopter trip”.  Note how he conveniently doesn’t state, nor question, who the suggestion is from nor what evidence exists to support it nor when the suggestion was introduced. He just refers to “this suggestion”. “Who, what, when” – policemen at elementary school are taught to ask these questions in a murder case where a fugitive invents a new story. Fraser glosses over the issue completely.

Fraser goes on to claim “of course the police have not followed that process through”. In case it escaped him, the police have been trying to extradite Shrien Dewani to South Africa to answer questions for over 3 years now. How else does Fraser expect them to know anything about Dewani’s side of the story? Should the South African police perhaps rely on media comments by Max Clifford, Jeremy Vine and Dan Newling to ascertain Dewani’s answers? Fraser’s expectations are beyond belief.

Jeremy Vine also says the trip was for “the next day.” How does Vine know there was a booking for the next day and why doesn’t he share this crucial information with viewers? He provides no evidence of a booking or enquiry with any particular helicopter company or any witness to a booking.

If Dewani is alleged to have told people about a helicopter trip “before he was a suspect”, why didn’t his family simply tell this to the newspaper when asked about the money’s purpose back in November 2011, rather then give the vague answer they did? Why has this more specific claim only surfaced 3 years after the murder, as extradition for trial gets closer?

Jeremy Vine did not think to explore these obvious questions. Nor did forensic expert Jim Fraser.

Why are there no details to support the claim?
Panorama is very keen to hold every statement by the South African prosecution to strict questioning and forensic analysis, yet they themselves are happy to make vague claims; claims that assist murder suspect Shrien Dewani, without any supporting corroboratory information at all. They appear to have blindly accepted a significant claim from someone in this murder case without asking the most basic of questions.

Why has the “gift” turned into a “trip” after three years?
 In November 2011, they claimed the money Dewani texted Tongo about was for Tongo to buy a “surprise gift” for Anni. The “gift” has suddenly turned into a “trip” and there is no mention of tour guide fees.

Why didn’t Panorama itself investigate who the helicopter company was?

The helicopter trip has no company name, no pilot name, no business address, no telephone number, no website, no contact person, no email, no booking confirmation,  no booking time, no boarding location; absolutely nothing whatsoever to corroborate this newly introduced claim by Jeremy Vine that there was to be a “romantic helicopter trip” booking surprise for Anni.

Why did the money have to be left secretly in the car that night?
Tongo was with the Dewani couple till quite late that night, until just after 11pm. Why was it necessary for Shrien Dewani to leave cash for him then? Was he going to book and pay for this alleged helicopter trip in the middle of the night? Why could he not give the money to him in person the next day? More realistically, why couldn’t Shrien Dewani pay the helicopter company himself? Why couldn’t he have given Tongo the money directly in an envelope when Anni wasn’t looking; why did it have to be left in the car?

Would you entrust your life and that of your new wife by flying high up with a helicopter company that demanded payment in cash only? Dewani had credit cards; we know that he used them at the hotel.

Shrien Dewani and his team have had 3 years to come up with a credible explanation for the money; money they admitted existed. The belated suggestion, 3 years on, that this husband accused of murder gave a large amount of cash to a fare-touting unlicenced taxi driver for some helicopter trip appears to be nothing but a ploy in the absence of any supporting evidence.

Dubious Links

This new helicopter claim seems to be, like the “never before seen CCTV” of which Vine constantly reminds us, “never before heard evidence”.

  • 26:46 Jim Fraser:
    “There is this suggestion that it was for a helicopter trip. And it may well be that it was for a helicopter trip but of course the police have not followed that process through.”
  • 26:55 Jeremy Vine:
    “CCTV from the police file revealed that as Tongo drops Mbolombo off at work, the 10,000 Rand cost of a helicopter flight is all the staff are talking about.”
  • 27:28 Jeremy Vine:
    “As Tongo and Mbolombo walk in, it becomes clear Mbolombo is central to what’s being discussed.”
  • 28:08 Jim Fraser:
    “They never stopped and paused, and thought about the fact that this conspiracy may have linked back to someone else, and they could have put these things to Shrien Dewani and asked him, why he went and got that money, and crucially, where it is now.”

Is this another example of BBC Panorama QUESTIONING THE ANSWER?  James Fraser’s comments here refer to the money trail, with no demonstrable linkage to preceding material re helicopters. It is somewhat oddly phrased, referring to a mere theory as a “fact”. Fraser also raises the question about what happened to the money, stating “they could have put these things to Shrien Dewani…”. It is not clear how Fraser thinks they could have asked these questions of Shrien Dewani.  It seems Fraser is unaware that Shrien left South Africa only four days after the murder, and nearly a week before Tongo’s confession first gave police a reason to investigate Shrien’s financial transactions.

An Interesting Anomaly

According to Panorama’s helicopter theory that has no supporting evidence, CCTV shows the front desk staff at the Colosseum discussing what Panorama claims is the 10,000 Rand cost of a helicopter flight, booked by “rich people”.
“Are the rich people the Dewanis?” asks Jeremy Vine (27:48).

It is a very desperate presumption that there were no other “rich” people staying in the many 4-star and 5-star hotels in Cape Town at the time, and assumes the numerous helicopter companies in Cape Town dont have any other clients. People are booking helicopter trips in Cape Town all the time and have been doing so for years. Why would the Dewanis be the only ones who could possibly have done so?

In any event,  Shrien and Anni were not guests at the Colosseum hotel and they had no contact with the staff, including Mbolombo. So why would the staff at the Colosseum be discussing anything to do with Shrien or Anni?

We are assuming that Panorama’s interpretation of the unclear audio is not incorrect. If it is correct, then isn’t it just as likely that Mbolombo was overheard by his colleagues previously talking to Tongo about the fees a husband was going to pay to have a “client taken off the scene”, and any reference to a R10,000 helicopter trip was just Mbolombo trying to deflect suspicion by his co-workers?

If Dewani had put an envelope with R10,000 in the car, why didn’t he hand it over to the carjackers to negotiate the couple’s life? Dewani has told press interviewers that he gave the carjackers cash from his pocket and jewellery including a ring worth tens of thousands of pounds. Why did he not also give them the R10,000 cash envelope?

Also, the figures do not match up on closer examination.  Jeremy Vine says Shrien Dewani had R10,000 on him. He then refers to a CCTV clip where the hotel workers are alleged by Panorama to be talking about “the R10,000 cost of helicopter trip”. Bingo! a straightforward match you would think? But no! Dewani’s family told Dan Newling in November 2011 that the money was for Tongo’s advance fees as a tour guide for the forthcoming days; only part of the money was for a “gift for Anni”. So now who do we believe? Who can we believe?

That’s the problem with lies; one lie requires a further lie to cover it up. And then another one. And another. The liar has to remember what lies he has told previously. Sooner or later, the lies trip over themselves. A trip that does not result in a surprise gift, but a hard 25 year jail sentence. And there’s nothing romantic in that.

Other than this highly dubious CCTV clip and Panorama’s own interpretation of it, the new claim of a “helicopter trip” has insufficient substantiating information to support it. Had this claim been made by the South African prosecution 3 years after the murder, one can guarantee that Jeremy Vine and his forensic experts would be demanding all the supporting facts. Where are yours Mr Vine?


Dewani and Tongo walk on chatting together, while Anni is left trailing behind looking forlong with arms folded

Just 2 hours before the murder: Dewani and Tongo walk on chatting together, while Anni is left trailing slowly behind looking forlorn with her arms folded.

Panorama went to great lengths and used every opportunity it could to discredit Tongo, the fare-touting driver of an unlicenced taxi, whom murder suspect Shrien Dewani hired on his arrival at the airport; whom Dewani had previously described as “helpful” and “trustworthy”, hugged, and referred to as “a nice guy”.

Tongo made a full confession to police of his involvement in Anni’s murder, receiving an eighteen year long jail term after a seven year reduction for co-operation in a plea bargain. He told the court that Shrien Dewani instructed him to help organise Anni’s murder and key aspects of his testimony are supported by CCTV footage, phone records and money transaction records.

At 34:38 of Panorama Jeremy Vine asserts:

“So in just eight seconds, Shrien Dewani is supposed to have threatened Tongo, and demanded Anni’s murder that night”

Vine claims that Tongo is not telling the truth about events at the Surfside Restaurant. He says that “if the timer on the CCTV is correct”, Tongo called Mbolombo “8 seconds after disappearing from view”. That would be a few seconds before 9:35 pm.

But only a moment before this in the Panorama programme at 33min 4sec, they show Mbolombo receiving a call, allegedly from Tongo, with an onscreen clock giving the time as “21:31” – 9:31 pm.

So Panorama’s own statements on this issue are far from convincing. Were there in fact two phone calls from Tongo to Mbolombo, the first one at 9:31 and then another one a few moments later? If so, why does Panorama fail to mention the 9:31 call when discussing the CCTV from Surfside?

Or was there only one phonecall, in which case the times alleged by Panorama would be highly suspect?

Additionally, there are other anomalies in the Surfside footage broadcast by Panorama.

  • At 34:22-frame17, Tongo first appears in the CCTV footage, with Anni following not far behind. The timer of the CCTV shows “21:33:10”.
  • At 34:24-frame-7 Tongo has approached nearer the camera, and the timer shows “21:33:14”.
  • But at the very next frame, 34:24-frame-8, the CCTV timer is showing 21:33:35; it has jumped a full 21 seconds forward.


Tongo, with Anni behind him is suddenly walking on the other side of the corridor. There is thus a 21 second gap in the CCTV record in which there could easily have been an interaction between Shrien and Tongo.

  • At 34:27-frame-13 Shrien is seen for the first time emerging from behind a pillar at the left of the screen. The CCTV time shows “21:33:38”.

If that is not enough, there are yet more reasons why Tongo’s testimony should not be dismissed as lightly as Jeremy Vine and Professor Jim Fraser suggest in the programme.

According to Tongo’s statement, Shrien spoke to him after Anni had gone in first. But it is not clear whether Tongo is referring to the restaurant proper, or to the external entrance to the building, which also bears a “Surfside Restaurant” sign.



After further analysis of the facts, we have realised that the version of events presented by Panorama cannot possibly be true. Read our updated analysis at “THE SURFSIDE CCTV – A NEW TAKE


If the BBC Panorama team don’t even know what day of the week it is,  how can anything else they broadcast possibly be accepted as accurate without corroboration?

In the following excerpt from the program, starting at 15min 36sec, the Panorama screen graphic says “Friday 18:13“. Presenter Jeremy Vine says:

“Just about the time Tongo left the Colosseum Hotel, new footage reveals Shrien Dewani returning to the Cape Grace. He had been to a bureau de change, changing £800 into Rand, and he’d been shopping for a red rose for his bride. Five minutes after Shrien arrived back at their room, Anni spoke to her parents…

Panorama then show a clip of Anni’s father: “It wasn’t her voice. It wasn’t, it wasn’t normal Anni. I found… something is not OK.”

and Vine says: “It was the last time they ever spoke.”

BBC Panorama 2013: The Honeymoon Murder – Who killed Anni?

With those words…

Panorama in 2013, misrepresent as fact that Anni’s last phone call with her parents took place on Friday, alleging it was moments after Shrien Dewani returned from buying a red rose for her (oh, and just by the way, obtaining £800 worth of Rand from a bureau de change).

Jeremy Vine and his Panorama pals are revealed, unmistakeably, to be a heartless bunch whose professed sympathy for Anni’s grieving family is as fake as their purported investigation. How could they possibly get that particular detail wrong? How could they even think about using that emotionally fraught event in the way they have – as a distraction, a lure to take peoples’ attention away from hard evidence, which might implicate one accused of her murder.

In every other media account dating back to November 2010, including Panorama itself in 2012, the final call between Anni and her father took place the following day – Saturday – just hours before she was brutally murdered. Shrien Dewani was quoted in the Daily Mail: “…on the afternoon of the attack, Anni suggested that we should talk to our families. We phoned them all: our parents, grandparents and aunts and told them what a wonderful time we were having.” (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1330051/My-guilt-Shrien-Dewani-husband-bride-Cape-Town-carjack-murder.html)

Here is the footage from BBC Panorama 2012:

So why has Panorama changed Saturday to Friday?

Vine brings three things to our attention in quick succession:

  1. that Shrien Dewani had changed £800 into Rand,
  2. that he had bought a red rose for Anni, and
  3. that on his return, Anni called her parents for the last time.

Vine does not explore or mention the first and second items for the remainder of the program, and gives the third item only cursory follow-up; in the ensuing 15 seconds we see 2012 footage of Vinod Hindocha explaining that “something was not OK”, then Vine tells us, “It was the last time they ever spoke”. And that is all. Nothing more is said about that either.

Mentioning those emotionally charged second and third items in quick succession causes the first item to appear relatively less important. If that is the effect, we can assume that was also the intent of the programme producers to skip lightly over and not discuss the topic of Shrien changing so much money in the afternoon on  Friday, and then going with Tongo at midday the following day, Saturday, to change a further US$1,500 into local currency. On his return to the hotel on Saturday, Shrien can be seen sprinting down the corridor to his room to get changed and to then return to the poolside, to Anni.

Why do Vine and his forensic experts, impartial and unbiased seekers after truth, choose to not pursue that topic of interest? It is after all, in the police docket. Why would Shrien need to change US$1,500 on the Saturday, having only just exchanged £800 late on Friday, the day before?

Any independent forensic expert would deem every action of a murder suspect before and after the murder to be relevant. So why do Panorama attempt to hide this transaction behind stories of buying a red rose and a last phone call (which, by the way, didn’t actually happen on the Friday as they suggest)?  Why do the impartial and independent Mr Vine, and his impartial and independent experts, show so little interest in following up on this matter?

What we can learn from this segment of the programme, is that according to Panorama,  Friday is Saturday. But beyond that, and more importantly, we can see just what kind of  heartless and ruthless individuals are lurking in the background of this travesty of journalism.


Shrien Dewani smiling as he leads Tongo into the quiet room with a white bag with money hidden inside.

A collage of frames from the CCTV, showing the moment Shrien Dewani holding a white bag turned to smile at Tongo, before leading him to a quiet room where the bag was exchanged.

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?


Anni's rings were found left in the car by Police. The killers did not take them, and Dewani (despite his claim) had not handed them to the killers to bargain their life with.

Anni’s rings were found left in the car by police. The killers did not take them, and Dewani (despite his claim) had not handed them to the killers to bargain their lives with.

At 42min 54sec of the Panorama programme, presenter Jeremy Vine says:

“Two of Anni’s rings were recovered. One beneath her body, and her £25,000 engagement ring hidden in the rear seat. If this was murder made to look like robbery, why not take the rings? If it was simply an execution, wouldn’t the hitmen have stayed to check Anni was dead?”

Vine’s argument is fallacious. It is beguiling, but utterly wrong.

According to Vine’s suggestion, we are supposed to believe that “they didn’t take the rings” so it was not “murder made to look like robbery”.

But it is a false argument. The act of “taking the rings” is a kind of robbery. It is not a kind of murder. The logical connection exists only between “robbery” and “taking the rings“. There is no reasonable connection with “murder“.

So Vine’s question should have been: If this was robbery, why not take the rings, and our natural, logical conclusion would be “They did not take the rings, so this was not robbery“.

Vine has resorted to using false logic in an attempt to deny the key point made by the prosecution, and vindicated by the judgment in Mngeni’s trial, that it wasn’t a murder made to look like a robbery; it was a contract killing. But Vine’s logic is proven wrong, and any conclusion based on that logic will be likewise proven wrong.

The fact that the couple had their mobile phones and watches stolen, in any event, proves a robbery also occurred. These were recovered and exhibited at Mngeni’s trial.

Vine’s second question is just silly.  He asks why the killers didn’t hang around. Er, well, they wouldn’t have hung around the crime scene, waiting for police or witnesses to arrive after their gun made a loud bang and an innocent woman with a gunshot in her neck was bleeding away lying lifelessly on the back seat!

They would have scarpered, and surprise surprise, that’s what they did, as stated by Qwabe in his sworn statement, and also as confirmed by the witness whom Jeremy Vine claimed to have interviewed in 2012.  Jeremy Vine sure does have a short memory!

Qwabe and Mngeni were not experienced professional hitmen who would have executed their victim, confirmed death and then fled without trace. They were amateur backstreet criminals, hurriedly hired for peanuts, who had to borrow a gun, hitch a lift to the carjacking spot, missed the appointed time first time around, bungled the fatal gunshot and one left fingerprints all over the car while the other wore yellow rubber washing up gloves. In the panic, they forgot about the money and rushed back to the car to grab the envelope, then they flaunted their ill-gotten money by openly drinking with friends in a shebeen. So no Jeremy, these amateurs did not think to check if Anni was dead. Their stupidity is why they were caught.

But there is a further problem concerning the rings, which Panorama does not acknowledge: Shrien Dewani’s own account doesn’t match.

In his signed statement to police he said he gave Anni’s wedding rings to the gunmen (reported in the Daily Mail, 8th May 2011, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1384708/Shrien-Dewani-I-identify-wifes-killers.html):

‘The one male pointed the gun at me and said that I must make her shut up or he will shoot one of us. Anni gave me her wedding rings valued at £25,000. I gave the rings to the male.’


Two pages from Shrien Dewani’s signed initial statement to Police, as published on 8th May 2011. The Daily Mail also sighted and reported statements from the other pages, although images of those pages were not published online.

But nine days later, Dewani was telling The Sun a different story.

In a tape recorded interview, Dewani said:

“Anni whispered to me in Gujarati so they couldn’t understand that she had hidden her wedding and engagement ring. All I could think about was saving our lives”.

As reported, the rings were found by police in the car. They were not handed to the carjackers as Shrien Dewani has said. He lied. As we have now come to expect, Jeremy Vine did not refer to murder-accused Shrien Dewani’s discrepancies at all.

Jeremy Vine failed to tell viewers about the major discrepancies between Shrien Dewani’s police statement and his 2 media interviews.