Cape Town - The probability that murder-accused Shrien Dewani will be brought to Cape Town soon appears to be growing stronger.
As far as the Department of Justice was aware, he had not asked for leave to appeal against the latest order that he be extradited, spokesman Mthunzi Mhaga said on Monday. “There’s no indication he’s appealing to the European Court of Human Rights.”
This meant Dewani could be in Cape Town as early as next month.
Seeking leave to appeal would be his final opportunity to try to avert extradition.
Mhaga said the government was working through the Justice Department, which was liaising with the UK’s Home Secretary Theresa May “to facilitate (Dewani’s) return”.
Dewani is accused of masterminding the murder of his wife, Anni, in Khayelitsha on November 13, 2010. The couple were on honeymoon.
Three men have been sentenced in connection with Anni’s death.
Shortly after the murder, Dewani, who was not yet a suspect, returned to the UK.
The South African authorities have been trying to get him to return to Cape Town for trial for more than three years.
Last month, the High Court in London ruled that Dewani could return to this country if South African authorities agreed that if he did come back, but was found to be unfit for trial, he would be sent back to the UK.
Dewani appealed against this order, but on March 3, the high court dismissed his arguments.
There were 28 days for him to be extradited.
It was not clear, however, when the 28 days was to begin and Mhaga declined to say on Monday when this period would lapse.
If Dewani were brought to Cape Town, he would have to appear in court to apply for bail.
Mhaga said if Dewani arrived in Cape Town in the morning, he would probably appear in court the same day. If he arrived at night, he would probably appear the next day.
Anni would have turned 32 on March 12.
On the Facebook page “Anni Hindocha (aka Dewani) – What Really Happened”, which posts updates on the matter, more than 100 people posted messages to Anni on her birthday.
Her father, Vinod Hindocha, was among those who wished her on her birthday.
Hindocha said: “Happy Birthday and I know you are watching.
“We love you and you are in everyone’s thoughts around the clock. RIP.”
If Dewani is returned to Cape Town and goes on trial, it is expected that Anni’s relatives will travel from Sweden to attend the proceedings in the high court.