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
Latest stories from i100
SPONSORED FEATURES
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

The dark side of Mexico

A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935