Dewani may face trial in October

The British businessman’s mental health will be observed in terms of the Criminal Procedure Act.

FILE: British businessman Shrien Dewani is accused of murdering his wife, Anni, on their honeymoon in Cape Town back in 2010. Picture: AFP.

CAPE TOWN - Shrien Dewani's fitness to stand trial was the focus of his brief appearance in the Western Cape High Court on Friday.

The British businessman is accused of orchestrating his wife Anni's murder during their honeymoon in Cape Town back in 2010.

Her lifeless body was found in an abandoned car in Khayelitsha following an apparent staged hijacking.

Dewani is accused of paying three men to kill her, a claim he denies.

Three other men are already serving lengthy jail terms for their roles in the murder.

Dewani was extradited to South Africa from the United Kingdom in April.

He is being held at the Valkenberg Psychiatric Hospital in Pinelands.

Dewani is said to be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.

The British national may stand trial for his wife's murder as early as October if a panel of experts decides he is fit to do so.

Prosecutors brought an application for Dewani's mental health to be officially observed in terms of the Criminal Procedure Act.

The National Prosecuting Authority's Nathi Mncube says the panel of four experts will assess his condition.

"He should be referred for 30 days for mental observation by three psychiatrists and one psychologist."

Dewani's lawyer believes his client will be fit to plea when the matter goes to trial.

Prosecutors have just 18-months to bring him to trial or he will be sent back to the United Kingdom.