Defence accuses Shrien cop of bias
Advocate says officer’s Facebook page suggested it
THE POLICEMAN leading the investigation into the murder of honeymooner Anni Dewani denied bias against her husband Shrien in the Western Cape High Court yesterday.
Advocate Francois van Zyl, for Dewani, asked Captain Paul Hendrikse whether his attitude towards his client and the investigation was impartial. Hendrikse, the 15th State witness, replied “yes”.
Van Zyl referred to a post on Facebook, without a date and time, that suggested otherwise.
The post, alleged to be by the policeman, apparently included: “Human rights? Mental Health Act? Fair trial? Are these just escape routes?”
The post that Van Zyl read out also spoke about how these decisions further hurt victims of crime and that the policeman was losing faith.
“I would not have made such an entry. This is the first time I have seen it,” Hendrikse replied. He said a journalist had informed him on Monday that his Facebook profile had been hacked, and he had it deactivated.
Van Zyl said two members of Anni’s family, Nishma Hindocha and Sneha Mashru, were also on his Facebook friends list. He asked whether this influenced his observations. The officer replied “not at all”.
Dewani is on trial for allegedly plotting to kill his wife Anni while they were on honeymoon in Cape Town in November 2010.
He has pleaded not guilty to charges including kidnapping, murder and defeating the ends of justice. He claims the couple were hijacked while being driven through Gugulethu in a minibus taxi on Saturday, November 13. Dewani was released unharmed and Anni was driven away. She was found shot dead in the abandoned minibus in Khayelitsha the next morning.
The State alleges he conspired with others to stage the hijacking, for which he paid R15 000.
Dewani maintains that he was organising a surprise hel- icopter trip for Anni for R15 000.
Hendrikse said on Monday that he first heard about this trip during Dewani’s plea explanation.
Van Zyl asked if he had not watched the Panorama documentary stating that Dewani had planned a surprise helicopter trip. The officer said he had, but he meant that it was the first time he had heard about it from Dewani.
The defence criticised Hendrikse for not keeping an investigation diary and for failing to timeously follow up on the primer residue results for Anni’s convicted killer Mziwamadoda Qwabe’s yellow kitchen glove.
The officer explained that he put all his notes and obser- vations into statements that were available to the defence.
He said it was an “oversight” that they obtained the primer residue results only after the defence requested it from the State.
He also conceded that an affidavit correcting a mistake in the original ballistics statement was falsified, but said he was not responsible for it.
Van Zyl said his client would say Hendrikse took him to the Hawks office in Bellville, Cape Town, in 2010 to take his fingerprints rather than to formally interview him.
However, the fingerprint room was locked and they could not get in. Hendrikse denied it. “So it means he was lying about a trivial thing like this?” the lawyer asked.
Hendrikse said that what Dewani was claiming never happened. – Sapa