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The uncle of murdered honeymoon bride Anni Dewani says if the suspected hitman, who has a brain tumour, can be medically treated in Cape Town, then so too can Shrien Dewani .
Speaking from his home in Sweden on Sunday, Ashok Hindocha told the Cape Times that medical practitioners in Cape Town would be capable of treating Dewani, who is suffering from stress-related disorders, if he were extradited from the UK.
On Friday the two suspected hitmen, Xolile Mngeni, who has a brain tumour for which he is receving treatment, and Mziwamadoda Qwabe appeared in the Western Cape High Court for their third pre-trial meeting.
During proceedings, Judge Robert Henney made it clear that their trial “will run” come July 30. However, Mngeni’s lawyer Matthews Dayimani questioned his client’s fitness to stand trial, saying Mngeni had a “mental defect”.
Another pre-trial meeting was set for for May 11.
On Sunday, Hindocha said while he could not comment on Mngeni’s situation as he did not know how sick he was, he believed that if doctors here could treat Mngeni, they would be able to treat Dewani.
“If South African health practitioners can help someone with a brain tumour, then they deserve a chance to fix someone with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
“If they can treat a brain tumour, then they can treat someone with psychological problems,” he said.
At the end of March, UK authorities announced that, after taking Dewani’s appeal against his extradition into account, they had decided to halt extradition proceedings against him on mental health grounds.
Court documents said Dewani was suffering from PTSD and depression.
Hindocha said he was not pleased with the UK authorities’ decision. “I’m personally extremely disappointed… The British justice system won’t allow a physically healthy person to come to SA,” he said.
Hindocha was waiting to hear if Dewani’s condition had been followed up on to see whether there was any improvement.
He said his family was struggling to cope.
“My family’s not well because of all this waiting. All we want is a trial.”
Hindocha was uncertain if the family would travel to Cape Town for the expected start of Mngeni and Qwabe’s trial on July 30.
“We haven’t decided yet. We must first make sure there is going to be a trial,” he said.
SA authorities want Dewani, accused of masterminding Anni’s November 2010 murder, to return to SA so he can stand trial with Mngeni and Qwabe. Anni was found murdered in Khayelitsha on November 13, 2010.
Shortly after her killing, Zola Robert Tongo confessed to his role in her murder and was sentenced to 18 years’ imprisonment. - Cape Times