SEX AND MURDER
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.