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The case against Shrien Dewani

Shrien Dewani and Anni Dewani.
Shrien Dewani and Anni Dewani. Credit: PA

It is the South African state's case that Shrien Dewani conspired with Cape Town residents Zola Tongo, Mziwamadoda Qwabe and Xolile Mngeni to kill his wife.

  • Tongo, Qwabe, and Mngeni are already serving jail terms in connection with the murder.
  • Dewani said he and his wife Anni were kidnapped at gunpoint as they drove through Gugulethu in Cape Town in a taxi in November 2010.
  • He was released unharmed, but his wife's body was found in the abandoned car the next day. She had been shot dead.
  • Following a protracted legal battle over the seriousness of his mental health problems, Dewani was extradited from the UK in April.
  • He is charged with conspiracy to commit kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances, murder, kidnapping, and defeating the ends of justice.

Victim's sister hails Shrien Dewani court decision

Honeymoon murder accused Shrien Dewani has been found fit to stand trial in a move his wife's sister hailed as "a huge step in the right direction".

A mental health panel in South Africa unanimously decided that the 34-year-old businessman is not mentally ill and should be tried in October for Anni Dewani's murder in Cape Town.

Shrien Dewani is accused of paying three men to kill his wife Anni.
Shrien Dewani is accused of paying three men to kill his wife Anni. Credit: ITV News

Her sister Ami Denborg said:

It's a relief for all of us. We've been waiting quite a long time for this. I know this autumn is going to be tough for us but we still want the trial to start so that we can get the information we need, we can get to know what really happened.

It feels like we're moving forward. It's still a long way to go but at least we're taking steps in the right direction, and this feels like a huge step in the right direction.

– Ami Denborg

Dewani, whose family attended court, is expected to appear again on September 9 for a pre-trial hearing, before his trial starts on October 6.

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UK businessman Dewani set for October murder trial

The British businessman accused of organising the murder of his wife on their honeymoon in South Africa is set to face trial in October.

Shrien Dewani was today declared fit to stand trial after a panel of three psychiatrists and a clinical psychologist assessed his mental health and concluded that he was not mentally ill.

Dewani, from Bristol, is accused of paying three men to kill Anni Dewani during the couple's honeymoon, which he denies.

Shrien and Anni Dewani at their wedding.
Shrien and Anni Dewani at their wedding. Credit: ITV News

Dewani was extradited from the UK to face trial charged with conspiracy to commit kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances, murder, kidnapping, and defeating the ends of justice.

He previously appeared at Western Cape High Court on June 20 after receiving treatment at Valkenberg Hospital in Cape Town since April. He had been detained for observation ahead of today's court appearance.

Before his extradition, Dewani was detained in a hospital in Britain for depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

More: Shrien Dewani 'declared mentally fit to stand trial'

Shrien Dewani 'declared mentally fit to stand trial'

Shrien Dewani is accused of paying three men to kill his wife on honeymoon.
Shrien Dewani is accused of paying three men to kill his wife on honeymoon. Credit: Reuters/Paul Hackett

Honeymoon murder suspect Shrien Dewani was today declared mentally fit to stand trial at a court in South Africa, AFP Africa has reported.

The millionaire businessman's new wife Anni Dewani died when she was shot in the neck as the couple travelled in a taxi on the outskirts of Cape Town in November 2010.

Dewani deemed unfit to stand trial in South Africa

The trial of honeymoon murder-suspect Shrien Dewani has been adjourned after it was ruled he is unfit to stand trial.

The Western Cape High Court ordered that Dewani remain at Valkenberg Hospital in Cape Town to receive further treatment for his mental health and the case was adjourned by Judge President John Hlophe until June 20.

Shrien Dewani was extradited from the UK last month. Credit: Press Association

The millionaire businessman is accused of paying three men to kill his wife during the couple's honeymoon, which he denies.

In today's pre-trial conference, Francois van Zyl told how his client had fared in his month as a hospital patient, the South African Press Association reported.

He said: "I am informed that he has been fully co-operative and that his condition has improved. We have been told by treating psychiatrists not to consult with him for longer than 30 minutes at a time."

He said Dewani lacked the ability to concentrate for longer than this time but he remained hopeful that his client would improve enough to "instruct us properly".

Father of Anni Dewani: 'We can't sleep at night'

The father of murdered bride Anni Dewani said he has "not been able to sleep at night" since his daughter was killed on a honeymoon in South Africa.

Vinod Hindocha told ITV News: "It's been very difficult for us to go ahead with our lives."

"Nights are difficult. Days can go but we can't sleep at night, even today. Every single day, between three and four, we get up and just wonder why.

"Both of us just ask each other why. And every single day it's the same procedure. I hope that we get these answers and at least we can go ahead with our lives. I know it will be very difficult, but we have to try. But before that we need the answers."

Watch: Anni Dewani's father 'It's been torture for us'

Read: Shrien Dewani remanded in custody by South African court

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Anni Dewani's father: 'It's been torture for us'

Anni Dewani's father has said that the past three years waiting for Shrien to be extradited has been "torture" for the family.

In an exclusive for British television, Vinod Hindocha told ITV News: "Believe me. Every day has been a torture for us, thinking of Anni, and thinking of why did she die?

"We have had very, very difficult times. We've been fighting for this. And now we are there."

He also talked about the moment he knew there was a problem, saying that at the time he "didn't know whether she was dead or not".

Mr Hindocha added: "I found out in Amsterdam, at the airport. That was a nightmare believe me."

Read: Shrien Dewani remanded in custody after court appearance

Anni Dewani's father: Shrien must 'answer questions'

The father of murdered bride Anni Dewani has said he and his family are "happy" that Shrien Dewani has been extradited to South Africa and will "have to answer questions".

Vinod Hindocha has told ITV News - in a British television exclusive - that he had mixed feelings about the English justice system, adding that he felt the trial should have begun three years ago.

He said: "We are quite happy with the judgement and the court decisions from England. Now we hope to get the answers we are looking for over the past three and a half years.

"I knew he would have to go one day or the other [to face trial in South Africa]. He should have been there three years back. But the English justice system - that's the way it is.

"At least he is there now, and he will have to answer the questions."

Read: Shrien Dewani remanded in custody after court appearance

West Country (E)

Dewani arrival captured by Cape Town journalist

Journalist Leigh-Anne Jansen has tweeted a picture of Shrien Dewani arriving in Cape Town.

The reporter, working for eNCA, captured the suspect on camera this morning.

Picture credit: eNCA

Shrien Dewani 'committed to proving innocence'

The family of Shrien Dewani have released a statement following his first appearance at a South African court:

Shrien remains committed to proving his innocence in a court of law and uncovering the truth behind his wife’s murder.

The extradition process has resulted in a number of assurances being provided by the South African authorities in relation to his continued hospital treatment.

We are grateful to the South African authorities for these assurances.

Shrien's family and his legal team have every confidence in the South African judicial system.

We look forward to his health improving, his name being cleared and there being an end to this legal trauma for all involved.

We recognise the widespread public interest in this case but respect the proper place for its resolution to be the South African Courts.

– Statement from the Dewani family
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