Dewani: Dr Pox’s widow speaks out

2010-12-19 13:00
Paddy Harper
The widow of slain King William’s Town doctor Pox Raghavjee has spoken out for the first time since her husband’s death was linked to the murder of Swedish tourist ­Anni Dewani.

Heather Raghavjee, who is visiting family in the United Kingdom, poured cold water on speculation that her husband might have been the victim of a long-range hit orchestrated by Shrien Dewani over money.

In an email interview from Bristol, where she is on a planned holiday with her three children, ­Raghavjee said her husband had no business dealings with either ­Shrien Dewani – currently fighting moves to extradite him to South Africa to face murder charges – or his father, Prakash.

“My husband did not know ­Shrien. My husband did not have any business relationship with ­either Prakash or Shrien Dewani.

“My husband did not invest in any of the Dewani businesses,” she said yesterday. “My husband met Prakash only as an acquaintance through my son’s father-in-law.

There were never any discussions regarding business or investment. The basis of the meeting was that of friendship alone.”

Heather Raghavjee, whom police want to re-interview now that links have been made between her husband’s 2007 murder and the November contract killing of ­Anni Dewani in Cape Town, said she and her husband met Prakash Dewani in 2003.

“Our relationship with Prakash Dewani began as purely one of an acquaintance and it has remained that way ever since.”

Raghavjee, who will be back in South Africa in mid-January, said she had planned her current trip in June.

British police had not contacted her and she was last in contact with South African Police Service (SAPS) investigators last year.

The SAPS also interviewed her in 2007 and 2008: “In 2010 I have not been contacted by the SAPS and I believe it is because they have all the information from previous statements and investigators’ reports.”

Raghavjee said police also had access to Christian Botha, the ­private investigator she hired, and to his predecessor.

Police spokesperson Colonel Vish Naidoo said police were investigating any potential link ­between the two killings.

“At this stage we have detectives in Western Cape and Eastern Cape and members of the Hawks putting their heads together to see if there are any possible links,” Naidoo said.

He refused to confirm whether police were investigating financial links between the Dewanis and Raghavjees.

Botha said on Friday he was pursuing several leads that might help establish a motive and a perpetrator in Raghavjee’s death.

He declined to comment on whether he was probing financial dealings between the families.