SEX AND MUR­DER

CityPress - - News - BIÉNNE HUIS­MAN bi­enne.huis­man@city­press.co.za

The Western Cape High Court will travel from one of Cape Town’s posh­est ho­tels to an in­ti­mate beach­side restau­rant and on to a des­o­late in­ter­sec­tion in one of the city’s most dan­ger­ous town­ships in the com­ing weeks as it tries to dis­cover how a young woman came to be mur­dered on her hon­ey­moon. To­mor­row, Shrien De­wani (34) goes on trial, ac­cused of or­der­ing a hit on his new wife, Anni, in 2010.

The de­fence will point to pic­tures of the new­ly­wed cou­ple smil­ing hap­pily to­gether to prove that De­wani had no role in the crime that left his Swedish­born wife dead kilo­me­tres away from where they were hi­jacked on a warm Novem­ber night.

But veteran Ad­vo­cate Fran­cois van Zyl will have to con­tend with a very dif­fer­ent side to De­wani: as a young man who ac­tively sought out “hu­mil­i­at­ing” sex with a Ger­man male pros­ti­tute who he “met” on a gay dat­ing web­site.

Me­dia leaks from both sides of the trial have sug­gested that De­wani’s sex­u­al­ity was cen­tral to the tragedy – that as the scion of a de­vout, well-re­spected Hindu fam­ily, he could not rec­on­cile his al­leged se­cret de­sires with their more tra­di­tional wishes.

A state­ment by 40-year-old Birm­ing­ham male pros­ti­tute Leopold Leisser was leaked this week, re­veal­ing startling new de­tails of De­wani’s so-called dou­ble life. Leisser claims De­wani ini­ti­ated fetish sex­ual en­coun­ters through the gay hook-up web­site Gay­dar un­der the moniker, asian­sub­guy.

He said they had “hu­mil­i­at­ing” sex that cost De­wani up to R6 500 for three-hour ses­sions.

City Press in­ves­ti­gated the pro­file that al­legedly be­longs to De­wani. The de­mo­graphic par­tic­u­lars pro­vided are for a 34-year-old sin­gle, gay man of HAPPY TIMES Shrien and Anni De­wani be­fore she was mur­dered in Gugulethu, Cape Town Asian de­scent with a pen­chant for one-on-one sex, group sex, or other ac­tiv­i­ties, in London.

He de­scribes him­self as a “sub­mis­sive cock­sucker, filthy minded and per­verted”.

“Look­ing for: same as me, filthy & per­verted but safe,” states asian­sub­guy, who last logged on to the web­site on April 19 2011. The next day, De­wani was de­tained at the Frome­side Clinic in Bris­tol, the English town where the De­wani fam­ily’s home-care business is based.

Van Zyl was friendly while speak­ing to City Press from his Cape Town of­fice yes­ter­day, but de­clined to com­ment on the up­com­ing bat­tle.

He must prove his client was a de­voted hus­band en­joy­ing a ro­man­tic hon­ey­moon with his bride at Cape Town’s five-star Cape Grace Ho­tel when tragedy struck.

He will cross swords with fel­low le­gal stal­wart, state Ad­vo­cate Adrian Mopp, who will head the pros­e­cu­tion as­sisted by state Ad­vo­cate Shireen Ri­ley.

The pros­e­cu­tors have the full support of their boss Rod­ney de Kock.

He told City Press: “I’m very happy that I have the best peo­ple on the job. I won’t be at the court [to­mor­row], but I’m leav­ing the work in ca­pa­ble hands.”

De Kock re­lived the four years of del­i­cate ne­go­ti­a­tions with Bri­tish au­thor­i­ties to or­gan­ise De­wani’s ex­tra­di­tion to South Africa. The Na­tional Prose­cut­ing Au­thor­ity had to make sev­eral un­der­tak­ings – re­lat­ing to prison con­di­tions, De­wani’s psy­chi­atric treat­ment and the trial process – to fi­nally con­vince Bri­tish courts to al­low him to stand trial here.

The ne­go­ti­a­tions had been in line with in­ter­na­tional hu­man rights prac­tice, but had been De Kock’s most in­volved to date, he said.

De­wani’s Bri­tish le­gal team ap­pealed the ex­tra­di­tion four times. Bri­tain’s high court fi­nally ap­proved De­wani’s re­moval in Jan­uary this year on con­di­tion that South Africa could give a guar­an­tee on how long he would be kept here with­out trial.

THE AC­CUSED AND THE MUR­DERED WIFE

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