The extradition hearing of Shrien Dewani in connection with his wife Anni Dewani’s murder is set to resume in July. This comes after the Westminster Magistrate’s court hearing in London heard yesterday that Dewani’s mental health has ‘improved significantly’. Although still receiving treatment at a Bristol hospital, Dewani is now suffering from only ‘moderate’ depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and has been proclaimed sufficiently fit for the hearing to take place.
Another hearing is scheduled to take place on the 15 May to allow both parties to underline the main points of their cases.
A High Court order in March 2012 saw extradition proceedings halted due to Dewani’s unstable mental condition. Dewani, 33, was diagnosed with acute PTSD and severe depression following his wife Anni’s murder during their Cape Town honeymoon in November 2010.
Two armed men hijacked the couple’s taxi as they were passing through Gugulethu township at night, purportedly to see the ‘real Africa’. While Dewani was released unharmed in the township of Khayelitsha, Anni, 28, was later found shot dead in the abandoned vehicle.
In December 2010, taxi driver Zola Tongo pleaded guilty to the murder of Mrs Dewani. Mzwamadoda Qwabe pleaded similarly in August 2012, and Xolile Mngeni was convicted of murder in November that same year. All three are currently serving their respective prison sentences. Mngeni is reported to be recovering from the brain tumor surgery that delayed his trial.
During his plea bargain agreement, Tongo alleged that Dewani had offered him R15000 to kill Anni and to make it look like an hijacking. Mngeni upheld the claim.
Dewani has consistently denied orchestrating his wife’s murder.