Dewani expected in court

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IOL pic aug15 shrien dewani leaves court file Independent Newspapers Shrien Dewani leaves the Cape High Court and will stand trial on October 6 for the murder of his wife. File picture: Brenton Geach

Cape Town  - British businessman Shrien Dewani will be back in the Western Cape High Court on Friday.

He may stand trial for the murder of his wife Anni as early as October if he is found fit by a mental health panel.

In June, Dewani appeared before Judge President John Hlophe, who received an update on his progress since being detained in Valkenberg Hospital in April.

Director of Public Prosecutions Rodney de Kock brought an application for Dewani's mental health to be officially observed in terms of the Criminal Procedure Act.

He said the State and defence had also set down a provisional trial date of October 6.

This will be Dewani's fourth appearance on charges of conspiracy to commit kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances, murder, kidnapping, and defeating the ends of justice.

The State alleges that he acted in common purpose and conspired with Cape Town residents Zola Tongo, Mziwamadoda Qwabe and Xolile Mngeni to kill his wife, Anni.

Dewani claimed he and 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 released unharmed, but his wife's body was found in the abandoned car the next day. She had been shot dead.

Dewani has not yet been asked to plead.

Before being extradited to South Africa, Dewani had been detained in a hospital in Britain for depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. - Sapa



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