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SA hopes to extradite Dewani before 2015

The Justice Department hopes Shrien Dewani will be extradited to SA by the end of this year.

FILE: Shrien Dewani (R) arrives at Belmarsh Magistrates Court sitting at Woolwich Crown Court in south London in 2011. Picture: AFP.

CAPE TOWN - The Department of Justice says it hopes Shrien Dewani will be extradited to South Africa before the end of this year.

Dewani, who is accused of being the mastermind behind the murder of his new bride, Anni, in an alleged staged hijacking in Cape Town four years ago, has denied any involvement in his wife's death.

His lawyers will again try and stop his extradition in the British High Court today and his legal team has requested an application to appeal the matter before the United Kingdom Supreme Court.

But South African lawyers will be opposing this.

The Justice Department's Mthunzi Mhaga says, "We do hope that before the end of the year he will be here in South Africa given the fact that the matter started in 2011. If the other accused are already sitting in jail and have been sentenced, it's only reasonable that he do so as well."

He says they're not sure if any judgment will be made today.

"Because there will be oral arguments. So the judge will either postpone the matter for a decision, or he will rule immediately."

If Dewani's application fails, he can still appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.

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 2012. He 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.