Cape Town: British Indian millionaire Shrien Dewani, on trial for allegedly planning his wife's honeymoon murder in Cape Town in 2010, blamed her for causing her own death as she screamed when the couple were carjacked, a South African court heard on Tuesday.
Sneha Mashru, a cousin of Dewani's wife Anni, said he told her the attackers had promised him they would not harm his bride but suggested they changed their minds and shot her because she would not be quiet.
"He (Dewani) said Anni was screaming: 'Let us go, let us go, we're on our honeymoon, let us go'," Mashru told the judge at the Western Cape High Court here.
"He (Dewani) said: 'Do not say this to anyone but Anni was shot because she was screaming. Had she not been screaming, she would not have been shot'. He said that as the robbers pushed him out of the car, they said they were going to drop her off up the road," recalled Mashru, Anni's cousin, closest friend and confidante.
Meanwhile, defence lawyer Francois van Zyl claimed that Dewani bought around 100 saris for Anni, after their wedding in India, as he attempted to discredit Mashru's view that the couple were in an unhappy marriage.
Mashru has given detailed descriptions over the past two days of communication between her and 28-year-old Anni in which her cousin explained her unhappiness with her husband.
"The accused will say that he spent hundreds of thousands of pounds to prepare his Bristol home for Anni moving in. And when they were in India, he bought Anni something like 100 sarees for when they're in London and entertaining people," Van Zyl said as he countered Mashru's contention that she was "suspicious" of Dewani's behaviour, including that of planning Anni's funeral on a spreadsheet.
The court was adjourned for a short while when Mashru broke down as she recalled tending to Anni's body for the funeral.
The next witness in the trial was Sergeant Cornelius Jacobus Mellet of the South African Police Services, who took Dewani back to the Cape Grace Hotel after he was allegedly left unharmed in the carjacking in which Anni was killed on November 13, 2010.
Mellet said Dewani did not say anything on the way to the hotel that made him suspicious of their taxi driver who later entered into a plea bargain with the state and is one of those convicted.
Mellet said on the way to the hotel Shrien was "sweating and was very nervous", to the extent that he felt sorry for him and turned on the air conditioning in the car.
The policeman also said that it was "strange" that on the way to the hotel, Dewani did not mention his wife.