Dec 9, 2014 0
Shrien Dewani was found not guilty yesterday of the 2010 shooting death of his wife Anni Dewani. Ms. Dewani was shot to death during a suspected carjacking while the couple were on their honeymoon just outside of Cape Town. Judge Traverso found that the prosecution’s evidence was plagued with inconsistencies and subsequently dismissed the case.
This verdict was announced two days before the expected decision on whether an appeal will be allowed in the Oscar Pistorius case. In a case with many similarities to the Dewani case, Pistorius was convicted for the culpable homicide shooting death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. The prosecution argued yesterday that, as a point of law, Pistorius should not have been acquitted of the more serious charge of murder and that his five-year sentence for culpable homicide was too lenient.
Many critics see Dewani’s acquittal and Pistorius’ low sentence as examples of South Africa’s struggle with the institutionalization of violence against women and corruption in the justice system.
Following the Dewani verdict, Justice Minister Michael Masutha requested a full inquiry into the Dewani case, the Pistorius case, and the investigation into the shooting death of South Africa’s national soccer team captain, Senzo Meyiwa. Mr. Masutha wants to reflect on how the police and the prosecution operated in these cases and why these cases are receiving so much negative attention at the national and international levels.