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Honeymoon bride Anni Dewani’s killer is FREED from South African jail on parole 

One of the killers of honeymoon bride Anni Dewani has been freed on parole from a jail in South Africa, despite having served barely half of his 18-year sentence.

Zola Tongo, now 42, was convicted of murder after he pleaded guilty to hiring two men to kill Anni, 28, in Gugulethu township, near Cape Town on November 13, 2010.

Dewani was killed in the back of Tongo’s taxi, suffering a single gunshot to her neck after her new husband fled the vehicle, which was later found abandoned with her body in it.  

Tongo claimed Anni’s new husband Shrien Dewani had ordered the hit whilst the couple were on their honeymoon. 

The taxi driver pleaded guilty to his part in the murder, and was sentenced to 18 years. Her husband Shrien Dewani was cleared of all charges in 2014. 

Tongo was due to be released from Malmesbury prison on parole in 2020, but was kept behind bars after opposition from Anni’s family. 

But he was released on parole on Tuesday after his lawyers were successful in arguing for his release.  

Zola Tongo, now 42, was alleged to have hired two men to kill Anni, 28, on the orders of her new husband in Gugulethu township, near Cape Town on November 13, 2010. He is now set to be released from prison on June 21 after successful pleading for parole

Tongo’s parole was granted on a number of conditions, including house detention, a community service order and a ban of drinking alcohol and taking drugs. 

Rynold Sedeman , chairperson of the parole board, said Tongo must undergo treatment from a psychologist and be assessed by social workers while on parole. 

Tongo’s house arrest will be in place for the first year of his six-year parole, after which he will be a completely free man – providing he doesn’t breach the conditions.

He must also submit to High Risk subversion monitoring for 12 months, and has been ordered not to intimidate or threaten anyone, commit a crime or contact the victims.

South African law states that a convicted criminal who is serving 25 years or less in prison is eligibly for parole after serving half their sentence.

Swedish-born Anni had been married for only a few weeks to British millionaire nursing home boss Shrien Dewani, now 41

Swedish-born Anni had been married for only a few weeks to British millionaire nursing home boss Shrien Dewani, now 41

Swedish-born Anni had been married for only a few weeks to British millionaire nursing home boss Shrien Dewani, now 41.

He said his life was spared as the two gunmen forced him out of the vehicle at gunpoint, before murdering his new bride.

Dewani was accused of organising the hit on his engineer wife with the taxi driver and paying him and two accomplices, but was cleared.

Tongo was said to have been paid R15,000 (£700) by Shrien to organise two hitmen to kill. He was first set to be released in August 2020 on parole.

However, after the parole board decided to release him, an appeal by Anni’s father and her uncle led to a rethink.

Tongo was visited in his cell and was grilled face-to-face to reveal the truth of what happened but he gave nothing away and Anni’s family demanded South African authorities revoked his parole.

Tongo had packed his bags and said goodbye to his cellmates and his family had driven up to Malmesbury Prison 40 miles outside of Cape Town to pick him up.

But with less than 24 hours before he was due to be released, Tongo’s freedom was taken away again. 

Mziwamadoda Qwabe is serving life and the man who fired the shot that killed Anni, Xolile Mngeni died from cancer in prison while serving his sentence.

Anni’s husband said his life was spared as the two gunmen forced him out of the vehicle at gunpoint, before murdering his new bride.

This is a breaking news story, more to follow… 

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk