Dewani extradition yet to be decided, says justice dept

The granting of leave to appeal to honeymoon murder accused Shrien Dewani is not a final order against his extradition, the justice department said on Tuesday.

"In all, the matter will still be argued on whether he is extraditable before three judges of the high court," said spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga.

"There is therefore no decision against the prosecution on facts, but on legal issue."

The British Press Association reported on Tuesday that three UK high court judges ruled the case should be reopened as there were still legal issues that have yet to be resolved.

Mhaga said the department believed Dewani should be sent to South Africa to face charges.

"We will patiently await this legal process to unfold while vigorously arguing for his extradition," he said. 

Outstanding legal issues
The panel of three high court judges, headed by Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas, ruled that there were outstanding legal issues the court had to decide.

The next extradition hearing for Dewani should take place as soon as possible, Thomas added.

Dewani is fighting removal to South Africa to face trial over his wife Anni's death until he has recovered from mental health problems, said to include depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

His lawyers have stressed at various hearings that he will be willing to defend himself at trial once he is fit to do so.

Thomas ruled his case must be reopened to consider two key issues. The first related to Dewani's status as "an accused person". The second concerned whether it would be "unjust and oppressive" to extradite Dewani "regardless of the prognosis" of his mental condition.

Legal experts said the renewed hearing, which could lead to appeals all the way to the Supreme Court, could delay any possibility of Dewani being extradited for months, if not years.

'Another delay in this case'
Anni's sister Ami Denborg said outside court: "We've been waiting patiently for three years and today there is another delay in this case. We don't really understand why there are all these delays.

"We really want this case to move on. We want this to go to South Africa now because this is taking a toll on the family. It's hard for us to move on with our lives."

Her brother Anish Hindocha added: "We need closure. We can't bear it."

"It is up to Shrien's doctors to judge whether he is fit or not to stand trial, but he needs to go to South Africa and answer the questions raised against him. It doesn't help anyone, him not being able to answer anything," said Denborg.

"In November it will be three years since my sister died and we've gone nowhere."

Chief Magistrate Howard Riddle ruled at the Westminster Magistrate's Court in July that Dewani should be extradited and rejected his attempt to stay in the UK for further hospital treatment.

He said Dewani, from Bristol, was still not fit to plead or stand trial at present, but there was evidence he would receive the care he needed in South Africa.

Dewani's appeal
Judge Riddle had originally given the go-ahead to Dewani's extradition in 2011, but had to reconsider the position after the high court allowed his appeal in March last year.

Dewani is suspected of ordering the killing of his new wife Anni (28), who was shot as the couple travelled in a taxi on the outskirts of Cape Town in November 2010.

Three men have been convicted so far for Anni Dewani's death. South African Xolile Mngeni was convicted last year of premeditated murder for shooting her.

Prosecutors claimed he was a hit man hired by Dewani to kill his wife, something Dewani has consistently denied.

Taxi driver Zola Tongo was jailed for 18 years after he admitted his part in the killing. Another accomplice, Mziwamadoda Qwabe, pleaded guilty to murder and was handed a 25-year prison sentence.

Dewani's family have said that he remains committed to returning to South Africa "when his health would permit a full trial and when appropriate protections are in place for his health and safety". – Sapa


Mabuza’s ‘distant relative’ scored big

Eskom’s woes are often because of boiler problems at its power plants. R50-billion has been set aside to fix them, but some of the contracts are going to questionable entities

ANC faction gunning for Gordhan

The ambush will take place at an NEC meeting about Eskom. But the real target is Cyril Ramaphosa

What the law could clarify this year

Lawfare: Major developments are on the cards where law and politics meet, including the first amendment to South Africa’s Bill of Rights

The secret ‘Warmonger’ at the SSA

A listening device acquired by the agency is at the centre of an alleged R600-million fraud operation

Press Releases

New-style star accretion bursts dazzle astronomers

Associate Professor James O Chibueze and Dr SP van den Heever are part of an international team of astronomers studying the G358-MM1 high-mass protostar.

2020 risk outlook: Use GRC to build resilience

GRC activities can be used profitably to develop an integrated risk picture and response, says ContinuitySA.

MTN voted best mobile network

An independent report found MTN to be the best mobile network in SA in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Is your tertiary institution is accredited?

Rosebank College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education, which is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training.

Is your tertiary institution accredited?

Rosebank College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education, which is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training.

VUT chancellor, Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi, dies

The university conferred the degree of Doctor of Science Honoris Causa on Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi for his outstanding leadership contributions to maths and science education development.

Innovate4AMR now in second year

SA's Team pill-Alert aims to tackle antimicrobial resistance by implementing their strategic intervention that ensures patients comply with treatment.

Medical students present solution in Geneva

Kapil Narain and Mohamed Hoosen Suleman were selected to present their strategic intervention to tackle antimicrobial resistance to an international panel of experts.