Anni’s father to face killer in court
The father of murdered honeymoon bride Anni Dewani was due to arrive in Cape Town on Tuesday to see her killer Xolile Mngeni sentenced at the High Court.
Vinod Hindocha also attended a London court on Monday to hear a provisional date set for the possible extradition of Anni’s husband Shrien back to South Africa to answer to murder charges.
Speaking outside Westminster Magistrate’s Court, a visibly exhausted Hindocha said: “Three men have been convicted of Anni’s murder and only Shrien has yet to face trial.
“I only want him to answer the police questions and help me as a father to receive closure on this terrible episode.
“Tonight I am boarding a flight to Cape Town to be in court to see for myself the sentencing of Xolile Mngeni who shot my daughter. I want to look into his eyes as he is punished, that will help me a little.
“Mngeni has brain cancer and has stood trial. It shows that the South Africans can treat people who are ill and facing serious charges fairly.”
He added: “I do wonder that two years is a long time to be suffering from post traumatic stress and a lot less serious than a brain tumour, but all I can do is wait for the British courts to send him back as was decided last year. The delays are slowly killing me. I haven’t slept properly in two years. My heart is broken.”
Dewani did not attend the hearing for medical reasons, but his family and Anni’s were well represented in the public gallery.
At the hearing Judge Howard Riddle agreed to loosen his bail conditions, allowing Dewani to attend a new hospital, Blaise View, in Bristol because his current one, Fromeside, was too loud and hindering his recovery from depression and post traumatic stress disorder.
At Monday’s hearing his lawyer Clare Montgomery said Dewani had become a “husk” of a man who was scared of driving and had flashbacks of a bad-breathed man holding a gun on the night he claims he was hijacked with Anni in Guguletu in November 2010.
Hugo Keith, lawyer for the South African government, said Dewani had not been a perfect patient at Fromeside and spent most days sitting in a disused camper van in a hospital car park praying or playing on a computer.
Dr Paul Cantrell said Dewani was recovering from depression but the PTSD was still severe. He was optimistic that Dewani would make some kind of recovery by the middle of next year, possibly allowing him to return to South Africa to face trial.
Montgomery agreed: “We hope and believe he will recover, in which case there is no battle at all apart from ensuring there are appropriate conditions for him in South Africa. At some point he will become fit to plead, he will no longer require medical treatment and all that will be required is some reassurances on the conditions in which he will be held.”
Judge Riddle agreed to vary Dewani’s bail to allow him to stay at either hospital with conditions that he continues treatment and is only allowed to leave the premises with the permission of his doctors accompanied by a nominated person.
Dewani’s mental condition would be reviewed again next April before a provisional full extradition hearing on July 1.