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Cape Town - Honeymoon murder-accused Shrien Dewani arrived on a private aircraft at Cape Town International Airport on Tuesday, the justice department said.
“He has been transported by a chartered plane from the Bristol Airport in the United Kingdom to South Africa. The Department of Justice procured the chartered plane,” spokesman Mthunzi Mhaga said in a statement.
Among the reasons for the private aircraft was that Dewani had previously shown suicidal tendencies, said Mhaga.
“We took into account the fact that there was undisputed evidence during (the) extradition hearing that he had displayed suicidal tendencies and the South African government did not want to take chances.
“His peculiar medical condition needed to be monitored and the situation on a commercial fight had the potential to compromise it and that would have (an) adverse effect on the pending medical examination in a bid to get him to recover.”
Mhaga said there was a need to ensure that Dewani and the team he travelled with - including doctors, nurses and police - were secure.
“… That would have been difficult on a commercial flight with many passengers. (It ) had (the) potential to compromise their security as his identity is now well-known,” he said.
“It was therefore paramount that his return to the country is hazard-free in order to ensure that he eventually makes the court appearance without hindrance.”
Meanwhile media were told they were not allowed to take pictures of Dewani at the Western Cape High Court on Tuesday ahead of his appearance.
A policeman addressed reporters and cameramen inside courtroom one and made it clear that all camera equipment should be removed at 10.45am.
The officer said the media were not allowed to take pictures as per order of the justice department.
On Monday, reporters were told they could apply to the court - formally through lawyers - to Judge President John Hlophe if they wanted to convince him otherwise.
Media24 has applied to Hlophe to film proceedings, and were still awaiting an outcome. It was not clear if any other media group has applied.
Dewani was due to appear in the Western Cape High Court at 11.30am.
He was expected to be charged with conspiracy to commit murder and defeating the ends of justice.
Dewani claimed he and his wife Anni were kidnapped at gunpoint as they drove through Gugulethu in Cape Town in a taxi in November 2010.
The couple had been on honeymoon in the country. Dewani was set free unharmed, but his wife's body was found in the abandoned car the next day. She had been shot dead.
Xolile Mngeni was convicted of the murder and jailed for life. Prosecutors allege Dewani hired him to kill his wife.
Two other alleged accomplices are also already serving jail terms in connection with the crimes. Dewani has denied any part in the murder. - Sapa