Dewani trial set for next month

BY TAI CHISHAKWE - SEPTEMBER 9, 2014

British businessman and the alleged mastermind of his wife’s murder, Shrien Dewani, is ready to stand trial next month, the Western Cape High Court heard on Tuesday.

Dewani’s lawyer Francois van Zyl said the State had asked that he make certain admissions ahead of his trial on 6 October.

"At the moment it [the admission] runs into 46 pages already and the annexures there consist of four lever arch files," he said.

"We should be able to hand that to the State within the coming week."

Van Zyl told Judge Robert Henney the admissions would probably shorten the trial, which has been set until 12 December.

Meanwhile Dewani will remain detained at Valkenberg Hospital leading up to and for the duration of the trial.

He reportedly seemed relaxed in the dock and said: "Yes, my Lord. Thank you," when asked if he understood the arrangements.

The State’s case is that he acted in common purpose, conspired with and paid Cape Town residents Zola Tongo, Mziwamadoda Qwabe, and Xolile Mngeni to kill his wife Anni on their honeymoon in November 2010.

Tongo, Qwabe, and Mngeni are already serving jail terms in connection with the murder.

Dewani has not yet been asked to plead and his lawyers asked for the prison records of Tongo and Qwabe to be handed over which the court granted.

Photo caption: FIT FOR TRIAL... British businessman and the alleged mastermind of his wife’s murder, Shrien Dewani, is ready to stand trial next month, the Western Cape High Court heard on Tuesday.