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Dewani 'guaranteed' fair trial

The Justice Ministry has assured Shrien Dewani that South Africa upholds the rule of law.

Murder accused Shrien Dewani. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - The Justice Ministry says honeymoon murder accused Shrien Dewani is guaranteed a fair trial in South Africa.

On Wednesday, a UK court ruled Dewani must be extradited to the Western Cape to stand trial for the murder of his bride Anni. But his family now intends taking the matter to the British Supreme Court of Appeal.

They have 14 days to appeal.

Dewani is accused of orchestrating Anni's murder in Cape Town in 2010.

The ministry's Mthunzi Mhaga says, "It is an affirmation of our strong view that our legal system is recognised internationally as fair and one that upholds the rule of law. We want to commend the NPA and all the investigating teams that went up there."

If extradited, Dewani will be tried at the Western Cape High Court and he may receive treatment at Valkenberg Psychiatric Facility.

The businessman is currently being treated for a post-traumatic stress disorder and denies any involvement in the crime.

He maintains that he is willing to return to clear his name but only after he has fully recovered.

Meanwhile, the victim's family has welcomed the latest development as they hope they will finally find closure in the matter.

Anni's uncle Ashok Hindocha says he cannot see how Shrien can further delay the inevitable.

"I'm no lawyer but I don't see any grounds for an appeal. Legally, South Africa has really undertaken what was needed from them."

At the same time, three South African men are currently serving lengthy sentences for their part in the alleged staged hijacking.

Xolile Mngeni was sentenced to life imprisonment in December. Mngeni was convicted of robbery with aggravating circumstances, premeditated murder and the illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Mziwamadoda Qwabe and Zola Tongo were sentenced to 25 years and 18 years for their part in the crime.

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