Dewani pre-trial conference to start

2012-04-13 07:47
Cape Town - The pre-trial conference of Xolile Mngeni and Mziwamadoda Qwabe, accused of murdering honeymooner Anni Dewani, is expected to begin in the Western Cape High Court on Friday.

Attempts are currently under way to extradite Anni's husband Shrien Dewani from Britain to stand trial in South Africa for her November 2010 murder.

Mngeni and Qwabe face five charges - kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances, murder, and two charges relating to the illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Apart from Dewani, Mngeni and Qwabe, the alleged conspiracy to murder Anni involved two other men – shuttle bus driver Zola Robert Tongo and Monde Mbolombo.

Tongo is already serving an 18-year jail sentence following plea bargain proceedings. Mbolombo had turned State witness and was expected to testify in the trial of Mngeni and Qwabe.

Dewani is currently in the UK where an order for his extradition to South Africa was signed by the UK secretary of state in September last year following a court order in August. However on March 30, Britain's High Court temporarily halted, on mental health grounds, Dewani's extradition. His lawyers said he was suffering from severe post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. They argued the 32-year-old's life could be at risk if he were extradited.

High court judges John Thomas and Duncan Ouseley said it would be "unjust and oppressive" to order the removal of Dewani, currently being treated in a mental health hospital in his hometown of Bristol, western England. However, they said it was in the interests of justice that he be extradited to face trial in South Africa "as soon as he is fit".

- SAPA
Read more on:    mziwamadoda qwabe  |  anni hindocha  |  xolile mngeni  |  shrien dewani  |  cape town  |  honeymoon hijacking
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