Johannesburg: Selling of T-shirts carrying objectionable slogan referring to the gruesome murder of Indian-origin Anni Dewani have sparked a fresh controversy in Johannesburg, attracting criticism from different sections of the society, including that from the victim's family.
The apparel with the message "Dewani Tours - treat your wife to a killer holiday" apparently refers to the killing of Indian-origin honeymoon bride Anni Dewani in Gugulethu township of Cape Town in 2010, for which her British husband Shrien Dewani is facing extradition plans to stand trial after being implicated in the murder.
The message uses a popular English font type resembling Hindi script, reminding readers of Anni Dewani's Indian origins.
"This is a blatant disregard and disrespectful way of showing no remorse over a killing that shocked not just South Africa but the world," said Mr Gugulethu resident Vusi Ndoda, noting the incident has severely impacted on tourism in the area.
He said he will talk to the Indian-origin businessman Dinesh Dowlath, who is the man behind the idea, to withdraw the clothing, failing which he would campaign for boycotting his stores and organise protests at his businesses.
Mr Dowlath, on the other hand, has rejected suggestions that he was making light of the horrific murder, pointing out that T-shirts with often controversial and ambiguous statements had been the speciality of his stores.
Although agreeing to the sensitivity of the matter, Mr Dowlath told the weekly Sunday Times Extra that there was a market for such clothing as people see the humour in them.
"These T-shirts are for a discerning intelligent market," Mr Dowlath said, adding that although he created most of the slogans on his T-shirts, this one was suggested by a customer.
Meanwhile the victim's family has decried the situation, calling on Mr Dowlath to "let decency prevail."
"As a family, we haven't even started our grieving because the case is on hold and yet, there are those horrible people out there who see profit in this," Anni's uncle Ashok Dewani told the weekly from his Sweden home.
Story first published:
June 25, 2012 10:55 IST