MURDERED tourist Anni Dewani’s father has questioned whether her murder accused and husband, Shrien Dewani, was really sick enough to forego a court appearance.
The Star newspaper quoted Vinod Hindocha, Anni’s father, as saying: “When you can go to restaurants to have meals, you can’t be sick. Many sources have told me they’ve seen Shrien out in restaurants which means he can go to court…
“I was in the UK the last time when Shrien was supposed to appear [on January 20], but he was apparently sick… I just don’t know about that though,” Hindocha said, adding that he would not attend the hearing on Tuesday.
Justice spokesman Tlali Tlali told Sapa on Monday that Dewani would not appear on Tuesday because a medical certificate indicated he was not fit to do so.
During the last hearing in the City of Westminister Magistrate’s Court in January, Chief Magistrate Howard Riddle was told that Dewani was suffering from an acute stress disorder.
Tlali said it was up to the court to decide whether it was acceptable that Dewani did not attend the next round of extradition proceedings against him because he was unwell.
“It is likely that the case will be postponed. The court will have to deal with other issues,” said Tlali.
“You always have to exercise patience and respect the due processes of the law.” He said the English court would determine on its own how many times the case can be postponed.
“There is nothing available to us to suggest that the delay is not justified,” said Tlali. Dewani faces charges of conspiracy to murder, murder, kidnapping, robbery with aggravated circumstances and obstruction of the administration of justice, the UK-based Press Association reported.
South African authorities were seeking to have Dewani, from Westbury-on-Trym in Bristol, come back to the country to stand trial.
Anni Dewani, from Sweden, was shot when the newlywed couple’s taxi was allegedly hijacked in the Gugulethu township on the outskirts of Cape Town on November 13.
She was found dead in the back of the abandoned vehicle with a bullet wound to her neck.
Driver Zola Tongo was sentenced to 18 years in prison in South Africa after he submitted a plea agreement which implicated Dewani in an alleged R15,000 hit on Anni. – Sapa