By Wendell Roelf
British businessman Shrien Dewani, who is accused of arranging for his bride to be murdered during their 2010 honeymoon in Cape Town, arrived in South Africa on Tuesday to face trial after losing a three-year battle against extradition.
Dewani has been treated for post-traumatic stress and depression since the killing of his Swedish wife, Anni, but Pretoria has not let up in its fight to bring him to trial, mindful of the damage to crime-ridden South Africa’s reputation after its successful hosting of the 2010 soccer World Cup.
The 34-year-old touched down at Cape Town international airport early in the morning but was whisked away out of sight of a throng of waiting reporters.
“He landed a short while ago,” a senior justice ministry official told reporters at the court in Cape Town, where Dewani is due to appear to be charged with conspiracy to murder, murder and defeating the ends of justice.
Anni Dewani was shot dead in November 2010 in a taxi in Gugulethu township on the outskirts of Cape Town. Shrien Dewani denies any wrongdoing but prosecutors have accused him of conspiring to kill his wife.
Shrien Dewani says he and the driver, Zola Tongo, were forced out of the car unharmed before Anni was driven away and killed. She was found dead in the back of the abandoned vehicle with a bullet in the neck.
However, Tongo turned state witness and, in return for a reduced sentence, alleged Dewani had paid 15,000 rand ($1,500) for his wife to be killed. He was jailed for 18 years.
Accomplices Mziwamadoda Qwabe and Xolile Mngeni were also found guilty of murder and were jailed for life.