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Dewani: Anni's family a step closer to closure

Shrien Dewani was declared fit to stand trial on Friday by a panel of five mental health experts.

A woman holds a sign bearing the portrait of Anni Dewani as members of the ruling African National Congress Women's League protest against the abuse of women, outside the Cape Town High Court, where British murder accused, Shrien Dewani (unseen), is standing trial on 8 April, 2014. Picture: AFP.

CAPE TOWN - Anni Dewani's uncle Ashok Hindocha says the family is a step closer to closure.

Shrien Dewani was declared fit to stand trial on Friday by a panel of five mental health experts, allaying concerns about his state of mind.

A greying Dewani responded with a clear "thank you my lord" when Judge John Hlophe explained he would stand trial on 6 October.

A report compiled by the experts was handed over to Hlophe before being made an order of the court.

The British businessman is accused of hiring hit men to kill his wife Anni during their honeymoon in Cape Town in 2010.

Anni's body was found in an abandoned car in Khayelitsha following an apparent staged hijacking.

Dewani is accused of paying three men to kill her, which he has vehemently denied.

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

Anni's family will travel to Cape Town for the start of the trial in October.

Hindocha says today's development brings the family a step closer to closure.

"We want to know what happened to her. There are so many questions we need answered."

Some of the questions the Hindocha family want answered include whether Dewani was involved with a male prostitute in the United Kingdom before he got married.

Dewani will return to court on 9 September for a pre-trial hearing.

Prosecutor Rodney de Kock says two months have been set aside for the trial.

Dewani will remain at the Valkenberg Psychiatric Hospital where will receive counselling.

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

The state has only 16 months to bring him to trial or he'll be sent back to Britain.

Meanwhile, the National Prosecuting Authority's Nathi Mncube says the development is a huge relief.

"The whole delay of four years has always been around his fitness to stand trial."

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