The convicted murderer of Anni Hindocha (Dewani) may be out of business by the end of July, although he has only served half of his 18 years in prison.
Zola Tongo will appear before the parole board for the second time this month after his first application for parole was rejected last June.
Vinod Hindocha, Anni’s father, and her uncle, Ashok Hindocha, flew to Sweden from Sweden last year to oppose the first application.
Tongo pleaded guilty in December 2010 to a charge of murder and was jailed for 18 years. He entered into a plea bargain with the state under which he was to serve the full 18 years in prison.
Singabakho Nxumalo, spokesperson for the Department of Correctional Services (DCS), confirmed on Tuesday that Tongo is still in Malmesbury Prison.
British online publication The Daily Mail reported on Tuesday that Tongo could be released on parole on July 28.
Nxumalo says that is not true and that Tongo will only have to appear before the parole board again this month. However, he could not explain why Tongo could apply for parole if he did not serve the full sentence under the plea agreement.
Tongo’s first application was rejected last year because the council felt he still had to complete rehabilitation programs in prison before he could reapply. Nxumalo confirmed he did, but his application has not yet been heard.
It is also not clear whether the Hindochas will come to Cape Town for the application.
The Hindochas filed a victim impact report at the hearing last year.
Shrien Dewani was charged in 2010 with planning the murder of his bride during their honeymoon in South Africa. It took four years to get him out of Britain to South Africa.
The trial began in the Supreme Court in Cape Town in 2014 and on December 8, 2014, Judge Jeanette Traverso found him innocent in a dismissal application.
Shrien returned to London immediately.
The night of Dewani’s death on November 13, 2010, the taxi in which they drove was hijacked in Guguletu, Cape Town. In the days following her death, Mziwamadoda Qwabe, Xolile Mngeni and Monde Mbolombo were arrested. They later claimed that the murder was planned by Shrien and that he was the mastermind behind it. Mbolombo was the middleman who arranged Dewani’s rental killers – Qwabe and Mngeni – for the taxi driver, Tongo.
Mngeni, meanwhile, died of a brain tumor in the hospital ward at Goodwood Prison in October 2014 while serving his life sentence.
Qwabe pleaded guilty in August 2012 to 25 years in prison. Mngeni was tried and convicted in November 2012. He was sentenced to life in prison.
Mbolombo acknowledged his involvement in the rally, but because he was a state witness, the court found that he was not prosecuted because his testimony was credible.
Under South African law, an accused must serve half his sentence in prison before being eligible for parole. Tongo was sentenced in December 2010 and will serve half his sentence by the end of 2019. Before that time expires, he must submit an application to be released on parole to the parole board of the Department of Correctional Services.
• Network24 also reported in 2019 that Shrien Dewani posted photos of him and his partner, Gledison Lopez, on Instagram in 2018. It was difficult for Vinod Hindocha because he felt that Shrien was still not honest about the matter.
Hindocha would later tell The Daily Mail that they assumed Shrien hadn’t killed their daughter, but they couldn’t make peace with the fact that he married Anni while gay.
“He lied to us and kept his gay life a secret. He must apologize to us for his lies, ”Hindocha said in the interview with The Daily Mail, which was published in May 2019.
• About three months after the court case was finalized in Cape Town, Vinod Hindocha almost lost his arm in an accident.
He was repairing an elevator in March 2015 when the chain slipped and dropped him to the ground. His outstretched arm was ripped off by the force of the fall. He was taken to a hospital in Gothenburg, Sweden, where his arm was reattached after a 13-hour operation.