Dewani’s condition improving, court told

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Shrien Dewani's parents leave the Western Cape High Court. Photo: Fatima Schroeder

Cape Town - Shrien Dewani's mental condition has improved since he has been receiving treatment at Valkenberg Psychiatric Hospital.

This emerged in the Western Cape High Court on Monday morning when Dewani appeared before Cape Judge President John Hlophe for a pre-trial conference.

However, according to defence counsel Francois van Zyl SC, the honeymoon murder-accused battles to concentrate during consultations.

"I've been informed that he has been fully co-operative and that his condition has improved. We have been told by the treating psychiatrist not to consult with him for more than 30 minutes and even that proved frustrating because he can't even concentrate for 30 minutes," Van Zyl said.

He requested that the matter be postponed for a month.

Western Cape Director of Public Prosecutions Rodney de Kock agreed to the postponement.

Dewani was immaculately dressed in a black suit, black tie and crisp white shirt.

It appeared as if he had lost weight since his last court appearance.

Dewani seemed bewildered and confused as Judge President Hlophe addressed him, his eyes scanning those present.

The courtroom was packed to capacity with members of the public, a large media contingent and members of the ANC Women’s League, who called for justice for the victim.

Sitting directy in front of the dock were his brother and parents.

Dewani is charged with the November 2010 murder of his bride Anni while they were on honeymoon in Cape Town.

It is alleged that he hired hitmen to carry out the killing and make it look like a hijacking.

He was brought to South Africa a month ago after fighting extradition for three years, claiming that he has severe depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

He is being voluntarily detained at Valkenberg Hospital under 24-hour police guard.

He is scheduled to appear in court again on June 20.

 


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