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Margie Orford

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Anni Dewani and the Grammar of Violence

Late last year a beautiful young woman called Anni Dewani visited South Africa. She was here with her new husband, bride and bridegroom on honeymoon. They did the classic tourist triangle. Jo’burg. Kruger Park for the big five, then Cape Town for wine and sea and sun and good food.

But on the 13th of November, a Saturday night, the taxi she and her husband were travelling in was hijacked. The taxi-driver and the husband were forced out of the car, they claimed.

The hijackers –there were two, maybe three, it was unclear – abducted the lovely bride.

The husband, distraught, knocked on one door and then another. Eventually someone opened up. The cops were called. They arrived.

They searched for the VW Sharan.

It was daybreak before she was found. Shot dead. The bullet fired at close range into the back of her slender neck.

The husband appeared in the press, distraught.

Another victim of the horrifyingly random violence of South Africa.

And yet…and yet.

I watch this grief stricken man and I think no. This is not making sense. This is not adding up. Because the body – poor dead lovely bridal Anni’s body is found in the car. On the back seat. There’s blood all over the show.


Recent comments:

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Helen</a>
    January 17th, 2011 @17:14 #

    Good read, Margie. Tough but good. You pinpoint exactly what I thought as the Dewani murder was reported. And speaking of patterns, a friend of a friend's husband was murdered as he jogged through Kenilworth 18 months ago. His family was at court the same day the Dewani driver was sentenced. Their case was postponed for the 12th time. They have had to fly from Johannesburg to CT every time, at their own expense. It's a different kind of language, a different kind of violence. This man's death fitted the pattern of random SA violence exactly. And because of this, the pattern of endlessly delayed SA justice applies.

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Sally</a>
    January 18th, 2011 @09:11 #

    Crime doesn't have to make sense, especially when there are so many factors like, dugs, alcohol, or even a gun accidentally going off, that can affect a "simple" hijacking.

    Why would a man kill his new wife on their honeymoon, when he has absolutely nothing to gain from her death except a broken heart.

    I understand how people can quickly assume the worst, especially in light of the negative press a murder like this can cause for a country like ours that does have a high crime rate. But, come on, innocent until proven guilty right?


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