The Westminster Magistrate’s Court in London heard that Shrien Dewani, 33, is fit to be extradited to South Africa where he is accused of orchestrating the murder of his wife, Anni, 28. Shrien Dewani is a British citizen who is accused of acquiring the services of hit-men to carry out the assignment of murdering his wife while they were on honeymoon in Cape Town, South Africa.
Shrien Dewani was not in court on Monday but the extradition hearing continued without him. The court heard about Dewani’s health and how he has improved since the last time he was in court in March. A representative of the South African government, Hugo Keith QC, told the court: “We suggest that the evidence shows that there has been a significant improvement.”
When he was in court in March, Dewani and his lawyers cited his unstable mental health as the reason he should not be brought back to South Africa to face the serious charges against him. The South African authorities are convinced that Dewani is well enough to stand before a South African magistrate and state his case. They are satisfied that should Dewani require further observation and treatment, South Africa has the necessary facilities and medical personnel to provide any intervention he might need.
Xolile Mngeni, Mzwamadoda Qwabe and Zola Tongo gave testimony to the effect that Shrien Dewani was the mastermind behind the murder of his wife which was meant to look like a hijacking gone wrong. After the death of his wife, Shrien Dewani suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and entertained frequent thoughts of suicide.
When it comes to discussion around the murder of his wife, Dewani exhibits signs of memory loss and lack of concentration. This is precisely why the South African authorities assured Chief Magistrate Howard Riddle that they would do everything in their power to ensure that Dewani’s medical needs would be adequately catered for if he is extradited. The Valkensburg Hospital in Cape Town has a well-equipped and renowned psychiatric wing where Dewani has the option to receive treatment at the expense of the South African government.
It has been three years since the death of Anni Dewani and the authorities would like to conclude this matter swiftly and fairly. South Africa has a reputation for being one of the biggest crime hotspots in the world. When the story of Anni Dewani’s death broke out, South Africans were angered at the implication that a foreigner had allegedly come to South Africa to commit a heinous crime because he thought it would be easier to pull it off in an environment where violent crime and corruption are rife. The extradition hearing is scheduled to continue until Friday.