NPA welcomes parts of Dewani judgment

2012-03-30 17:30

Johannesburg - Aspects of Britain's High Court ruling to temporarily halt the extradition of businessman Shrien Dewani to South Africa were welcomed by the NPA on Friday.

"We are particularly pleased by the ruling that... the conditions in South African prisons would not violate Mr Dewani's human rights and that it is in the interests of justice that Mr Dewani stand trial in South Africa as soon as he is fit to be tried," National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said in a statement.

"It is also important to note that the Dewani defence team did not contend that he would not receive a fair trial in South Africa."

French news agency AFP reported that the ruling was made on Friday after Dewani's lawyers said he was suffering from severe post-traumatic stress disorder and severe depression.

High Court judges John Thomas and Duncan Ouseley said it would be "unjust and oppressive" to order the removal of Dewani, who is currently being treated in a mental health hospital in his home town 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".


Mhaga said it was important to assess Dewani's mental health quickly.

"It is in the interest of justice to facilitate his recovery so that the trial can proceed sooner rather than later," he said.

The extradition hearing will be enrolled before British Chief Magistrate Judge Riddle within 28 days.

Mhaga said Riddle would manage the further conduct of the proceedings, including additional reports on Dewani's mental health.

"Upon receipt of these reports [and] any other material he deems appropriate, he will be called upon to decide whether Mr Dewani is fit to stand trial and be extradited to South Africa."

Dewani has strongly denied arranging the contract killing of his 28-year-old wife Anni, who was shot in an apparent hijacking in Cape Town in November 2010.

Their taxi driver, Zola Tongo, who was jailed for 18 years for his part in the crime, claimed in a plea bargain with prosecutors that the businessman ordered the hijacking and paid for a hit on his wife.

Dewani was arrested in Britain on 7 December 2010 following an extradition request from South Africa,

A British judge approved his extradition in August but Dewani's lawyers appealed.

  • Ben - 2012-03-30 17:37

    Suffering from stress. A good excuse. What did his wife suffer.

      Abel Sbia - 2012-03-30 18:00

      we do have hospitals in south africa so he must cam now he wil get his medication here

      William - 2012-03-30 20:54

      a hole in the head!!!!!!

  • Raymond - 2012-03-30 17:59

    Might there not be a loophole internationally in this regard. Everyone that becomes ill from post traumatic stress for something that they might have done wrong gets some sort of reprieve. Has Bristol (England) also got a good golf course like we have at Windsor Park where people on their death beds suddenly recouperate and become alive and get absolved from their murky pasts. The precedence is rebounding all over the world it seems!

      frank.hartry - 2012-03-30 21:18

      Surely though. If he stalls and stalls extradition, he can be tried in absentia and if found guilty the SA authorities can have interpol arrest him as a fugitive? Am i being a bit far fetched?

      Judith - 2012-03-30 22:59

      Does his family's company own the mental hospital?? if so we stand no chance of getting him here.

  • frank.hartry - 2012-03-30 19:02

    He will always be too ill to travel to South Africa. If he is guilty he will be always have this mental stress disorder because he knows whats in store for him. Naturally he will resist extradition. He has the Supreme court to turn to as well eas the European court. Dewani and his team are not stupid and he has plenty of money to stall extradition for years to come.

      Johann - 2012-03-30 19:43

      Frank if you were in his shoes would you come back and another can you believ the investigation team

  • Promise Dube - 2012-03-30 19:04

    Is da NPA in cahoots wt UK or something is fishy?Y protect criminals wen they shld b paying fo their wrongdoing?Wt abt her family,frenz&associates who lost some1 they loved?Let's b ril&fair to ol!

      Anthony - 2012-03-30 19:13

      promise --are you the missing link????

  • Okoye2000 - 2012-03-30 19:35

    If Dewani escapes with this excuse it will act as a precedent and no criminal would ever be tried. Let him be treated here in SA.

      Johann - 2012-03-30 19:55

      Do you realy think that SA have a better. Justice system than the UK if so why do Zuma Want. To change it. Do not you do justice but let justice do it self

  • Johann - 2012-03-30 19:39

    You know there is some questions to be asked that up until now have not yet been clarified where in your wildest dreams would you get a honey moon couple ,the one to plan to murder the other what motives there was no insurance issues the question o f protecting SA image abroad suddenly jump to mind , the un explained brusses to her inner thigh that was visas able and quite a few other things that does not ad up this goverment has lied to us and we know. They can not be trusted what's been swept under the carpet do you think if there was. No doubts there would have any I say any doubts not to extradite Diwani, make you think does it not

      Judith - 2012-03-30 23:01

      Do you forget how Tonga held his head in shame?

  • tandekileq1 - 2012-03-30 19:49

    Men are brutal sometimes.How can u u kill someone who can't fight back?

      William - 2012-03-30 20:59

      it's not only men who do these horrific deeds............

      Judith - 2012-03-30 23:02

      It is MOSTLY MEN!!!!

  • Tim - 2012-03-30 20:51

    This is a total disgrace, so I murder someone and I am happy, then it looks as though I am going to get caught, I get post traumatic stress and then when the evidence starts to show up I get depressed. Then I use my money, a personal PR person, a bunch of lawyers and those questionable diagnoses to mount an appeal against my extradition. Each time I get close to having to face trial I remarkably get depressed again, well wouldn't anyone? The UK extradite people to the US on little more than the say so of Hilary Clinton but here with a court, evidence,CCTV footage and co-accused, they can't send Mr Dewani over to face trial because he is feeling a little bit upset..Mr Dewani you were a chicken when you ran away from your lovely wife and left her in the middle of Gugs with two armed attackers and you are a chicken now as you use every trick in the book to avoid facing your accusers. We already know you don't have any balls but I do wish the British judiciary would hunt around for a pair.

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