‘Relaxed’ Shrien Dewani ready to stand trial

2014-09-09 14:35

British businessperson Shrien Dewani is ready to stand trial next month regarding the death of his wife Anni, the Western Cape High Court heard today.

His lawyer, Francois van Zyl, said the state had asked that Dewani make certain admissions ahead of his trial on October 6.

“At the moment it [the admission] runs into 46 pages already and the annexures there consist of four lever arch files,” he said today.

“We should be able to hand that to the state within the coming week.”

Van Zyl told Judge Robert Henney the admissions would probably shorten the trial, which has been set down until December 12.

Dewani will remain at Valkenberg Hospital for counselling and detention leading up to and for the duration of the trial.

Dressed in a black suit and white shirt, he seemed relaxed in the dock and said: “Yes, my Lord. Thank you,” when asked if he understood the arrangements.

It is the state’s case that he acted in common purpose and conspired with Cape Town residents Zola Tongo, Mziwamadoda Qwabe and Xolile Mngeni to kill his wife Anni.

Tongo, Qwabe, and Mngeni are already serving jail terms in connection with the murder.

Dewani claimed that he and Anni were kidnapped at gunpoint while being driven 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.

He is charged with conspiracy to commit kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances, murder, kidnapping and defeating the ends of justice.

Dewani has not yet been asked to plead.

Today, his lawyers asked for the prison records of Tongo and Qwabe to be handed over.

The court ordered the investigating officer, Captain Paul Hendrickse, to help the legal team get copies of records from Malmesbury and Drakenstein prisons before next Friday.

It also ordered Tongo’s former lawyer William da Grass to hand over his landline and mobile phone bills from November 2010.

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