Shrien Dewani arrives in South Africa to stand trial

Accused honeymoon-killer Shrien Dewani has arrived in Cape Town following his lengthy extradition proceedings from the UK but the trial will not kick off until 12 May 2014


AFTER arriving at Cape Town International Airport on a chartered aeroplane on Tuesday morning, 33-year-old Shrien Dewani made a brief appearance at the Western Cape High Court. After a brief appearance in court, with Dewani dressed in a black designer suit and a visibly shaken demeanour towards Judge President John Hlophe, he was whisked away from the building to be interred at the high security Valkenberg Hospital for weeks of psychiatric evaluation. Dewani is reported to be undergoing post-traumatic stress syndrome with suicidal tendencies as well as bouts of severe depression.

His appearance in court was surrounded by a great deal of media attention, leading to extraordinary security measures being taken at the central Cape Town court building. The courtroom itself was packed to capacity, marking the high-profile nature of the case, and likely setting the tone for weeks of courtroom drama to follow. Although a bench was reserved in the courtroom for family members of the crime victim none of Anni Dewani’s relatives were present at this initial appearance.

The charges expected to be brought against the businessman from Bristol include conspiracy to commit murder and defeating the ends of justice in connection with the 2010 murder of his wife Anni Dewani, however, the case has now been deferred until 12 May 2014.

Dewani maintains that he had no role in the kidnapping and murder of his wife in Gugulethu in November 2010 during the couple’s honeymoon to Cape Town. However, the man convicted of her murder, Xolile Mngeni, has accused Dewani of ordering the killing, in addition to other confederates accused of the murder.

A statement made earlier by the Justice Department said, “Shrien Dewani has landed at Cape Town International Airport and was received by members of the SA Police Service. He arrived in the company of a medical doctor, nurse and members of SAPS and Interpol.”

It was later explained that security and medical concerns had forced the government to organise the extradition on a chartered private jet, which is expected to have cost the taxpayer at least R2,5 million (£100,000).

By Sertan Sanderson, 2014