Zola Tongo was sentenced to 18 years imprisonment for his role in Dewani's murder a decade ago.
Durban – Anni Dewani’s parents have slammed the South African justice system after it emerged that the man implicated in their daughter’s murder in 2010, was released after serving just half of his prison sentence.
Zola Tongo was sentenced to 18 years imprisonment for his role in Dewani’s murder a decade ago.
At the time of Dewani’s murder, she and her husband, Shrien, were on honeymoon in SA. While driving around Cape Town, two men stopped Tongo’s taxi and ordered him and Shrien to get out of the taxi. Anni, who was still inside the vehicle, was shot dead.
Commenting on behalf of the Hindocha family, Ashok Hindocha, Dewani’s uncle, said they could not understand the South African justice system.
“We believe that the justice system does not represent the South African people. Anni is not getting justice. Zola can go back to his loved ones but Anni will never return. Zola did not stand up to the bargain,” Hindocha said.
He said the family was not surprised but was disappointed in the country’s justice system.
“The trial was a drama. The prosecutor was assigned at the last moment and the judge was appointed with no case for many years before this case and no trial after this trial,” he said.
“Surely this cannot be any democratic country’s justice system,” Hindocha said.
According to The Sun, Vinod Hindocha travelled to SA last year when Tongo first applied for parole.
In the interview, he called Tongo an evil created. “He should be left to either rot in jail or serve his full sentence.”
During Tongo’s trial, the court was told that Shrien had paid Tongo money to have Anni killed. In his confession, he said was asked to make the attack look like a carjacking. Tongo said he then hired Xolile Mngeni and Mziwamadoda Qwabe to carry out the murder.
Despite camera footage showing Shrien giving money to Tongo, Shrien maintained his innocence.
Mngeni and Qwabe were sentenced to life imprisonment. Mgeni later died of brain cancer.
Shrien was cleared of any charges relating to Anni’s murder. He lives in London with his male photographer partner.