Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

Dewani set for court appearance

Honeymoon murder-accused Shrien Dewani is due to appear in court again in South Africa today.

It is expected that more will be said about the mental health of Dewani, who has been receiving treatment.

The Western Cape High Court heard last month that his condition had improved but he would remain in Valkenberg Hospital in Cape Town, with the case being adjourned to today.

Dewani, from Bristol, was extradited from the UK in April to face trial charged with conspiracy to commit kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances, murder, kidnapping, and defeating the ends of justice.

His new wife Anni Dewani died when she was shot in the neck as the couple travelled in a taxi on the outskirts of Cape Town in November 2010.

The millionaire businessman is accused of paying three men to kill her during the couple's honeymoon, which he denies.

In the pre-trial conference at court on May 12, Francois van Zyl told how his client had fared in his month as a hospital patient, the South African Press Association reported.

He said: ''I am informed that he has been fully co-operative and that his condition has improved. We have been told by treating psychiatrists not to consult with him for longer than 30 minutes at a time.''

He said Dewani lacked the ability to concentrate for longer than this time but he remained hopeful that his client would improve enough to ''instruct us properly''.

Dewani was led back down to the holding cells five minutes after being brought up.

Before his extradition, Dewani was detained in a hospital in Britain for depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

It is the South African state's case that he conspired with Cape Town residents Zola Tongo, Mziwamadoda Qwabe and Xolile Mngeni to kill his wife.

Tongo, Qwabe, and Mngeni are already serving jail terms in connection with the murder.

Dewani has not yet been asked to plead.

He claimed he and his wife Anni were kidnapped at gunpoint as they drove through Gugulethu in Cape Town in a taxi in November 2010.

The couple had been on honeymoon in the country. He was released unharmed, but his wife's body was found in the abandoned car the next day. She had been shot dead.

The South African authorities have been waiting for more than three years to get Dewani into the dock.


From Belfast Telegraph