Dewani suspects’ conference begins

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Johannesburg - The final pre-trial conference of the two men accused of taking part in the killing of Anni Dewani is set to start on Wednesday in the Cape Town High Court.

Xolile Mngeni and Mziwamadoda Qwabe face charges of kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances, murder, and two counts relating to the illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Both men are scheduled to go on trial on July 30. The National Prosecuting Authority earlier said extradition proceedings against the prime suspect in the murder, Anni's husband Shrien, would resume on July 31 in the United Kingdom.

Dewani has repeatedly denied arranging the contract killing of his 28-year-old wife, who was shot in an apparent hijacking while they were on their honeymoon in Cape Town in November 2010.

In March, Britain's High Court temporarily halted Dewani's extradition on mental health grounds, saying it would be “unjust and oppressive”.

At the time, the court said he would be extradited to South Africa as soon as he was fit. Dewani is being treated in a mental health hospital in his hometown of Bristol, western England.

In earlier proceedings, the remaining accused, Zola Tonga, was jailed in December 2010 for 18 years for his part in the murder, in terms of a plea bargain. - Sapa

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