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
Ben Little, right, is a Labour supporter while Jonathan Rogers supports the Green Party
general election 2015
News
The 91st Hakone Ekiden Qualifier at Showa Kinen Park, Tokyo, 2014
news
Life and Style
Former helicopter pilot Major Tim Peake will become the first UK astronaut in space for over 20 years
food + drinkNothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
News
Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
football
Life and Style
health
Voices
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
news
Life and Style
Buyers of secondhand cars are searching out shades last seen in cop show ‘The Sweeney’
motoringFlares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own