Dewani application expected today

The application to extradite Briton Shrien Dewani from the UK to

South Africa was expected to take place in the City of Westminster Magistrates

Court today, possibly without Dewani being present.


According to The Mirror in the UK, Dewani pulled out of the hearing

“as his health worsens”.


Dewani’s lawyer Taswell Papier and South African justice

authorities were not immediately available to confirm this, but according to the

report his spokesperson Max Clifford said Dewani had been “very unwell in recent

weeks”.


It was not immediately clear how this would affect today’s

proceedings if confirmed.


Dewani is wanted in South Africa to stand trial for the alleged

contract murder of his wife Anni during their honeymoon in Cape Town in

November.


Shuttle bus driver Zola Tongo was sentenced to 18 years in prison

last year in a plea agreement in which he implicated Dewani in Anni’s murder.

According to his statement he was paid R16 000 by Dewani to stage a

hijacking.


She was last seen alive after the couple made a spur-of-the-moment

decision to visit a restaurant in Gugulethu outside Cape Town.


At the time, Dewani said that they had been hijacked and he had

been pushed out of the vehicle. Anni’s body was later found in the car in nearby

Khayelitsha.


Two other people – Xolile Mnguni and Mziwamadoda Qwabe – are in

custody in South Africa for their alleged roles in the murder, which according

to Tongo, was a paid hit.


Dewani is to be represented by Papier, who once represented

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson on sexual assault allegations made

while he was in Cape Town.


According to his CV on the website of his lawfirm he was voted

Lawyer of the Year in 2006. He lists his specialities as commercial, tax and

fisheries law.


The Harvard and University of the Western Cape attorney had also

built a reputation for pro-bono work.


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