About R3m spent to fly Shrien Dewani to SA

2014-04-09 08:26

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Nearly R3 million was spent on transporting honeymoon murder-accused Shrien Dewani from the UK to South Africa, the justice department has said.

“In the interests of accountability and transparency ... the costs of transporting Mr Dewani from the Bristol Airport in the United Kingdom to Cape Town International Airport in South Africa is R2 905 574.31,” said spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga in a statement yesterday.

Dewani arrived in Cape Town on a chartered plane yesterday morning.

Travelling with him was a South African doctor, a nurse, members of the SA Police Service and Interpol.

Mhaga said the department had considered several reasons when deciding to use a private plane.

“We took into account the fact that there was undisputed evidence during [the] extradition hearing that he had displayed suicidal tendencies and the South African government did not want to take chances,” he said.

“His peculiar medical condition needed to be monitored and the situation on a commercial fight had the potential to compromise it. That would have [an] adverse effect on the pending medical examination in a bid to get him to recover.”

Mhaga said there was a need to ensure Dewani and the team he travelled with were secure.

“... [It] would have been difficult on a commercial flight with many passengers. [It] had [the] potential to compromise their security as his identity is now well-known,” he said.

Dewani was extradited from the UK to South Africa to face charges related to the murder of his wife, Anni.

Dewani claimed he and Anni were kidnapped at gunpoint as they drove through Gugulethu in Cape Town in a taxi in November 2010. The couple had been on honeymoon in the country.

Dewani was released unharmed while his wife’s body was found in the abandoned car the next day. She had been shot dead.

Xolile Mngeni was convicted of the murder and jailed for life. Prosecutors allege Dewani hired him to kill his wife.

Two other alleged accomplices are also already serving jail terms in connection with the crime. Dewani has denied any part in the murder.

Dewani appeared in the Western Cape High Court on Tuesday where his case was postponed to May 12. He was expected to be charged with conspiracy to commit murder and defeating the ends of justice.

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