What Happened To Anni Dewani's Husband?

About 11 years ago this month, a new bride was murdered while she was on her honeymoon. On November 12, 2010, 28-year-old newlywed Anni Dewani had just landed in South Africa from London with her new husband, Shrien Dewani. The couple, who had recently tied the knot in India, traveled to the coastal Southern African city of Cape Town to celebrate their recent nuptials. But the trip immediately went awry.

Upon arriving in the city, the Dewanis found a driver to take them to their hotel after leaving the airport. After spending one night at their hotel, Shrien arranged for the same driver who dropped them off to pick them up the following evening for a night out, which he did, per The Atavist Magazine. But a sudden change of plans diverted their arrangements that night. The Dewanis no longer wanted to head to the reservation that Shrien initially made that night, so their driver suggested another area outside of the city — the Khayelitsha township — which he took them to. When the night was done, the pair were ready to head back with their driver to the hotel, and Anni apparently wanted to take in the landscape. The driver took a detour on an isolated road, and the decision cost Anni her life. 

Victim or conspirator?

En route down the road, two armed men encountered the vehicle and hijacked the taxi — one man forced their driver into the passenger seat and took control of the taxi, and the other got into the back seat with the newlyweds. Not long into the drive, around midnight, the hijackers then forced Shrien Dewani out of the taxi by gunpoint, and Anni Dewani was left inside as they took off. Afterward, Shrien reached out to his father in London and father-in-law in Sweden. The next day, the abandoned taxi was found with the body of Anni inside with a gunshot wound to her neck (via BBC). She was dead.

In the days after her death, investigators made multiple arrests. Three men were charged with Anni's murder — one of which was the taxi driver. It seemed as if the case was completed and closed, but as it turned out, a new twist came into play: Shrien Dewani. As the sole survivor of the pair, there were speculations about Shrien's possible involvement – something he adamantly denied.

Shrien Dewani's extradition

The story took more twists when the taxi driver accused Shrien of paying him to orchestrate the death of his wife. It wasn't too long after that the other two men in the plot backed up the driver's story. This eventually led to South African authorities ordering the arrest and extradition of Shrien, who had already returned to his home of Bristol, U.K., for Anni's funeral services. He was being charged with conspiracy, and the other three men were already sentenced.

It took another few years before South African officials extradited Shrien to face his charges. The order was granted in 2013, but Shrien and his legal team delayed it because he was experiencing several mental health concerns that prevented him from being able to stand trial. But in January 2014, he was determined fit to be on trial, and he arrived in Cape Town to face his fate that April, per BBC. The trial began in October of that year, but in just a month, a judge threw the entire case out, citing contradictory witness testimony. The trial also revealed Shrien's alleged double life — he was purportedly bisexual and bought services from male sex workers.

Where is Shrien Dewani?

In December 2014, all the charges against Shrien Dewani were dropped, and he walked free (via The Guardian). So, where has he been in the last decade? Per the Daily Mail, photographers spotted Shrien Dewani leaving his home last November on the 10th anniversary of Anni Dewani's murder. His deceased wife's family claims that they've since lost contact with him, and he has not reached out. Before that, Shrien seemingly moved on when he shared photos of himself and his boyfriend on his Instagram. The reveal angered Anni's parents when they learned that the couple vacationed in Mumbai, India — the very same locale where their daughter married Shrien. In 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Shrien created a personal Twitter page to discuss his work in preventing the spread of the virus. He manages a home healthcare staff and praised them and others in the field for their work with the elderly and homebound patients (via The South African).

The story of the couple's nightmare of a honeymoon will be the subject of a four-part docu-series titled "Anni: The Honeymoon Murder," which begins streaming on Discovery+ on November 13.