A South African man of Indian origin has been jailed for life after admitting to have masterminded the murder of his wife in a staged carjacking. Rajive Sewnarain, 42, admitted to have paid an employee, identified as Boxer, rand 30,000 to arrange for the killing of his wife Shenaaz, 40.

Boxer had approached Mr. Sewnarain and offered him to “take his wife out of his life.”

Ms. Sewnarain told the men, whom he had arranged to ambush his car on December 10, to shoot him in the shoulder to make the attack seem realistic.

The case bears considerable similarities to what police say happened in the murder of Indo-Swedish honeymooner Anni Dewani in an apparent carjack in Cape Town last month.

Ms. Dewani's British husband Shrien Dewani has been named by one of her killers as the one who arranged her murder. Mr. Dewani allegedly paid two men and his taxi driver 1,400£ to murder his wife.

Police are investigating the case.

Announcing the verdict, Magistrate Sharon Marks said that he had little sympathy for Sewnarain's mitigation of a tumultuous marriage.

“You could have sought advice from a counsellor or even divorced your wife,” he said, adding that Sewnarain's plea of guilty would not get him a reduced sentence.

“It might lead people to believe that they could take the law into their own hands. Your actions speak of a flagrant disregard for the sanctity of human life.”

Two accomplices in the murder are still to appear in court. Four weeks before she died in the shooting incident on December 10, Shenaaz had survived five bullet wounds in an alleged robbery attempt. This is now being probed by the police as a possible hit attempt.

Keywords: Shenaaz murder

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