Newlywed murder accused dubbed 'monkey'

The chief of the South African police has called British businessman Shrien Dewani a "monkey" for allegedly thinking it would be easy to kill his new bride in the country.

Dewani, 30, is accused of ordering the killing of Anni, 28, on their honeymoon after she was found dead in the back of an abandoned taxi with a bullet wound to her neck.

Taxi driver Zola Tongo, who drove the newlyweds to the dangerous Cape Town township of Gugulethu where his cab was hijacked before Anni was murdered, said Dewani offered 15,000 rand (1,400) for the killing just hours after the couple arrived in the country.

General Bheki Cele told South African media: "One monkey came from London to kill his wife here. He thought we South Africans were stupid. Don't kill people here."

His spokeswoman said the quote, attributed to the national commissioner of the South African Police Service, had to be seen in context.

She said: "He was referring to the fact that somebody thought it would be easy to commit a crime in South Africa.

"The quotes were taken out of context. He was emphasising the point that somebody had come from their country and thought it would be easy to commit a crime here."

South African authorities want to extradite the wealthy care home owner from Westbury-on-Trym in Bristol.

He was bailed at a hearing at City of Westminster Magistrates' Court in London on Wednesday, only to be denied his freedom shortly afterwards when a lawyer representing the South African authorities said they would appeal against the decision.

A High Court judge will hear the appeal this morning and Dewani will remain in custody at least until then.

His sister-in-law said that if the allegation against Dewani was true, then it was "unforgivable".

Anni's sister, Ami Denborg, refused to be drawn on whether her family thought he was behind the murder on November 13.

But she said that if he was guilty, "then what he has done is unforgivable".

She said: "You can't just kill somebody. It is scary. What the hell was he thinking?"

It has also emerged that Dewani was reportedly seen on CCTV paying cash to the cabbie days after Anni's body was found.

Tongo's allegation formed part of a plea agreement drawn up with prosecutors at Western Cape High Court in South Africa, where he was jailed for 18 years earlier this week for his part in the killing.

The taxi driver claimed Dewani ordered the killing to appear like a bungled carjacking.

The court heard that investigators have questioned why Dewani did not use an airport-to-hotel shuttle service, hiring Tongo instead.

It also questioned why Tongo had taken the couple to such a dangerous area when the restaurant they wanted to visit there was closed.

Clare Montgomery QC, representing Dewani, said her client was accused by a group of self-confessed robbers and murderers desperate to escape a life sentence and branded the case against him "flimsy".

She suggested it was cooked up to protect the image of South Africa as a tourist destination as it would "seriously damage the reputation of South Africa if it were merely the work of a local gang".