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Radebe praises SA efforts to extradite Dewani

Sapa

The justice minister says government was impressed by the SA legal team's performance while trying to get murder accused Shrien Dewani extradited.

Shrien Dewani. (Reuters)

Justice Minister Jeff Radebe on Tuesday praised the South African prosecution team for its efforts towards having honeymoon murder suspect Shrien Dewani extradited to South Africa.

"Our government is rallying behind our prosecution team and is encouraged by the team's resilience, despite numerous protracted and taxing legal processes that date back to January 2011," Radebe said in a statement.

On Monday the high court in Britain dismissed Dewani's appeal against his extradition to South Africa.

He has been fighting removal from the United Kingdom until he has recovered from mental health problems, including severe depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Dewani (33) from Bristol, would face charges related to the murder of his wife, Anni.

Radebe said: "Our team, together with their British counterparts have once again demonstrated prosecutorial expertise that have earned our young legal system global recognition."

Released unharmed
Dewani has claimed the couple were kidnapped at gunpoint as they drove through Gugulethu in Cape Town in a taxi in November 2010.

Dewani was released unharmed. The couple were on honeymoon at the time. The next day, his wife's body was found in the abandoned car. She had been shot dead.

In January, a panel of high court judges, headed by Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas, ruled that it would not be "unjust and oppressive" to extradite Dewani, despite his illness, if an undertaking was given by South African authorities.

The South African government has given assurances on how long Dewani will be kept in the country without trial if he continues to suffer mental health problems, paving the way for him to be sent.

Justice spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said that Dewani could not seek relief from the Supreme Court in the United Kingdom but was still able to approach the European Court of Human Rights.

"This court is based in Strasbourg in France before judges of the 47 member states of Council of Europe. This relief is only applicable is exceptional circumstances," he said. – Sapa

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