South Africa says it has 'pulled out every stop' to ensure Shrien Dewani's extradition to face charges of wife's murder

The businessman denies orchestrating the shooting

South Africa has bent over backwards to accommodate Shrien Dewani and it is now time for the British businessman to be extradited to face charges of killing his bride, a court heard yesterday.

More than two years since his 28-year-old wife Anni was murdered during their honeymoon in Cape Town, a renewed extradition began yesterday to decide the groom's fate. Mr Dewani, 33, has consistently denied arranging the shooting but has been fighting extradition while being treated for depression and post traumatic stress disorder.

Yesterday he was given dispensation not to have to appear in the dock at Westminster Magistrates' Court but both his family and his late wife's relatives turned up for the hearing.

Hugo Keith QC, for the South African government, said that Mr Dewani's depression and post traumatic stress disorder had improved to such an extent that he should now be extradited. Mr Dewani's psychiatrist had declared him to be “far better” and he himself had given indications of wanting to return to Africa to fight the case.

Furthermore, he added the Director of Public Prosecutions in the Western Cape had offered assurances that he would immediately be transferred to a psychiatric hospital with good facilities if he was still unwell.

If he was found to be fit and not given bail, he would be held in a prison under the care of the same psychiatrist Mr Dewani's legal team had requested for his private treatment, and be allowed visits by other doctors to assess his condition.

“The Republic of South Africa has pulled out every stop in relation to this matter,” Mr Keith told District Judge Howard Riddle.

The newlyweds were in Cape Town in November 2010 when they were held at gunpoint by two men after taking a night time taxi ride through the township of Gugulethu. While the taxi driver Zola Tongo and the groom were forced from the car unharmed, Mrs Dewani’s body was discovered the next day in the abandoned car. The driver and two attackers, who claim Mr Dewani arranged the hit, have since been found or pleaded guilty and received lengthy jail terms in South Africa.

In 2011 Home Secretary Theresa May ordered his extradition but the High Court delayed it on the grounds it would be “unjust and oppressive” to send him to Africa due to his frail mental health.

Yesterday Mr Keith said: “We suggest the position now is very different to what it was in July 2011. The fact is there is even less case for concluding that his extradition would be oppressive. We suggest it is now, not only open to you but obligatory under the statutory scheme.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
News
The 67P/CG comet as seen from the Philae lander
scienceThe most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Arts and Entertainment
Ian McKellen as Gandalf in The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies
film
Sport
football
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Koenig, creator of popular podcast Serial, which is to be broadcast by the BBC
tvReview: The secret to the programme's success is that it allows its audience to play detective
News
Ruby Wax has previously written about her mental health problems in her book Sane New World
people
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas