Dewani details to be revealed later

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IOL  shrien dewani afp jan 31

AFP

Shrien Dewani

Cape Town - Details about the possible trial of honeymoon murder-accused Shrien Dewani will be revealed at a later date, a justice department official said on Monday.

Justice department spokesman Mthunzi Mhaga was bombarded with questions at a technical briefing attended by around 60 local and foreign journalists at the Western Cape High Court.

Dewani is set to make his first appearance in the court on Tuesday morning, when it is expected he will be charged.

Journalists asked who the presiding judge and prosecution team would be should Dewani be found fit to stand trial.

When they did not get answers, they asked whether Dewani would apply for bail, how long his appearance would take and which medical facility he would be taken to afterwards.

“Tomorrow's court proceedings will be uncapped tomorrow. I cannot delve into what is likely to transpire,” Mhaga replied.

It was revealed that Dewani would appear before Judge President John Hlophe at 11.30am on Tuesday, after being brought up the stairs from the court's holding cells.

He would be charged with conspiracy to commit murder and defeating the ends of justice.

Dewani's flight would take off from England on Monday night and would land in Cape Town on Tuesday morning.

The department declined to reveal which exit he would use to leave the Cape Town International Airport or his expected landing time, citing security concerns.

“In view of his peculiar medical condition, he will be accompanied by a medical doctor, a nurse and members of the SA Police Service.” Mhaga said.

“This is informed by the fact that he is currently a patient and a suspect who is in police custody and may need medical assistance en-route to the country.”

Mhaga reminded the media that Dewani had the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

“It is for this reason that there will be no provision for him to be photographed prior to his court appearance,” Mhaga said.

“Media will have an opportunity to film him in court, but as soon as the judge walks in, all cameras should be off and removed from the courtroom.”

He said the media could apply to the court to film his next appearance.

Members of the media would need to apply for accreditation at the court on Tuesday morning, ahead of his appearance.

Dewani claims he and Anni were kidnapped at gunpoint while they drove through Gugulethu in Cape Town in a taxi in November 2010.

Dewani was released unharmed. The next day his wife's body was found in the abandoned car. She had been shot dead.

The couple was on honeymoon at the time.

Xolile Mngeni was convicted of the murder and was jailed for life. Prosecutors allege that Dewani hired him to kill his wife.

Taxi driver Zola Tongo was jailed for 18 years after he admitted to his part in the killing. Another accomplice, Mziwamadoda Qwabe, pleaded guilty to murder and received a 25-year prison sentence.

Dewani, who has until now been detained at a hospital in Britain under the Mental Health Act, has denied any part in the murder.

Sapa


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