Minister supports Dewani Judge

2014-12-06 20:09
Jeanette Traverso

Jeanette Traverso

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Judge will now decide if Dewani trial will be dismissed

2014-11-25 14:52

Deputy Judge President Jeanette Traverso will now take two weeks to decide whether Shrien Dewani's case will be dismissed. Watch.WATCH

Johannesburg - Justice Minister Michael Masutha on Saturday said he will not take action over a petition calling for the recusal of the judge presiding over British businessman Shrien Dewani's murder trial.

"The minister has written to the group and expressed his view on their concerns and requests," Masutha's spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said in a statement.

"The minister indicated that the matter is subject to judicial determination by the Western Cape High Court division, and therefore it would not be appropriate, for him, to engage on the issues that relate to those proceedings."

Last month, the Justice4Anni Facebook group, which has around 23 000 likes, petitioned Masutha about deputy judge president Jeanette Traverso.

The petition, with 2401 signatures, called on Masutha to dismiss her, investigate her conduct during the trial and order a re-trial with a new judge.

The group said a case expert had prepared an interim dossier during the trial and concluded she was biased for a number of reasons.

It claimed she had been aggressive and blatantly rude to prosecutor Adrian Mopp, while being friendly and assisting Dewani's lawyer Francois van Zyl.

Other reasons included her reliance on Dewani's plea explanation which had not been tested under cross-examination.

Dewani is on trial for allegedly plotting with shuttle bus driver Zola Tongo and others to kill his wife Anni Dewani while they were on honeymoon in Cape Town in November 2010.

He has pleaded not guilty to charges including kidnapping, murder, and defeating the ends of justice.

The court is expected to rule on Monday if Dewani should be discharged of the murder. Should his discharge application be successful he would be free to return to the United Kingdom.

Dewani claims they were hijacked while Tongo drove them through Gugulethu in his minibus on 13 November 2010. He was released unharmed while Anni was driven away. She was found shot dead in the abandoned minibus in Khayelitsha the next morning.

The State alleges he conspired with others to stage the hijacking for which he paid R15 000. Dewani maintains Tongo helped him organise a surprise helicopter trip for Anni for R15 000.

Read more on:    jeanette traverso  |  michael masutha  |  shrien dewani  |  dewani trial  |  justice

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