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High price for Dewani extradition

It has emerged that the private flight may have cost up to R180,000 an hour.

Members of the ANC Women's League protest outside the Western Cape High Court on 8 April 2014 ahead of Shrien Dewani's first appearance. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - A private plane used to extradite honeymoon murder accused Shrien Dewani to Cape Town could cost as much as $17,500 (R180,000) an hour, SA Flyer Magazine's Guy Leitch said on Tuesday.

The 34-year-old was flown overnight from Bristol in the United Kingdom to Cape Town in South Africa to face a murder charge.

Dewani is accused of masterminding his wife Anni's murder while on honeymoon in Cape Town back in 2010.

The British businessman faces five counts, including murder, kidnapping, robbery and obstructing the administration of justice, in the Western Cape High Court.

He denies any involvement in the crime.

The private aircraft with registration A6 DEJ landed on a misty runway at Cape Town International Airport shortly after 9am on Tuesday.

It's believed to be a Gulfstream V plane.

"It's safe to assume they would have had to pay for the flight there and back, which would be 11 hours there and back," Leitch said.

Meanwhile, Swift Air CEO Nola Kropman estimates that chartering a private aircraft for Dewani probably cost the government around R3 million.

She said the cost of hiring such an aircraft is around $10,000 (R104,000) per hour.

Kropman, however, cautioned that government would've also had to pay for the aircraft to get to Bristol.

"You don't just pay for the leg you fly you have to pay for the positioning of the aircraft at the same rate."

In total, the flights would have been around 22 hours.

The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development says Dewani was brought to Cape Town on a private plane because he displayed suicidal tendencies.

The South African government didn't want to take chances with his safety.

Dressed in a smart black suit and tie, Dewani stood in the dock with his eyes fixed on Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe.

His father, Prakash, was present in court.

Dewani frowned during parts of proceedings.

He also twitched at times and made sudden stares at some people in the packed courtroom.

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