Dewani wants to clear his name

By Drum Digital
08 April 2014

Honeymoon murder-accused Shrien Dewani aims to clear his name and find out why his wife Anni was murdered, his family said.

Honeymoon murder-accused Shrien Dewani aims to clear his name and find out why his wife Anni was murdered, his family said on Tuesday.

"Shrien remains committed to proving his innocence in a court of law and uncovering the truth behind his wife's murder," they said in a statement.

"We look forward to his health improving, his name being cleared, and there being an end to this legal trauma for all involved."

The Dewani family said it recognised the widespread public interest in the case but believed the appropriate place for a resolution was in a court of law. They said the extradition process had led to a number of assurances being given by South African authorities in relation to his continued hospital treatment. "We are grateful to the South African authorities for these assurances.

"Shrien's family and his legal team have every confidence in the South African judicial system."

The Western Cape High Court on Tuesday postponed Dewani's case to May 12.

Dewani claimed he and his wife 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. He was released unharmed, but 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.

Shrien

Meanwhile Dewani arrived at Cape Town International Airport shortly after 9am on Tuesday morning in a private jet chartered by the justice department.

"He has been transported by a chartered plane from Bristol Airport in the United Kingdom to South Africa. The department of justice procured the chartered plane," spokesman Mthunzi Mhaga said in a statement.

According to an aviation industry charter manager, who declined to be named, chartering a jet for the about 10,000km flight would have "cost millions of rands".

The basic costs of chartering such flights typically cost between R50 and R70 a kilometre, depending on the type of aircraft used. On top of this there were other expenses, including overflight fees and refuelling costs.

Asked on Tuesday if he could say what the cost of the charter had been, Mhaga responded: "Not at this stage."

In his earlier statement, he said among the reasons for using a private aircraft was that Dewani had previously shown suicidal tendencies.

"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.

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

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