Dewani murder trial to get underway

Shrien Dewani will be asked to plead to five charges including one of murder.

British businessman and honeymoon murder accused Shrien Dewani arrives in Cape Town on 8 April 2014. Picture: Sapa.

CAPE TOWN - British businessman Shrien Dewani will be asked to plead to five charges, including one of murder, when his trial starts in the Western Cape High Court later this morning.

He is accused of orchestrating his wife Anni's murder while the couple were in Cape Town on their honeymoon in 2010.

Three other men have already been convicted for their role in her killing and are serving lengthy prison sentences.

Dewani was extradited from the United Kingdom in April, where he was said to be suffering from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and depression.

Since his arrival in Cape Town, he has been held at the Valkenberg Psychiatric Hospital.

There's been intense speculation about who the state intends calling to testify.

Reports earlier this year suggested that a male prostitute, who allegedly had sexual relations with the British businessman, might be on the witness list.

Dewani has denied he masterminded Anni's murder. At least six members of Anni's family are expected to attend the trial.

Meanwhile, the National Prosecuting Authority has reiterated that a broadcast of the trial, similar to that of Paralympic and Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius would not be in the interest of justice.

The authority's Nathi Mncube says they're concerned about the impact of such a broadcast on Dewani's mental health.

"The pressure that comes with a trial being broadcast live might prejudice the trial itself or might cause the accused's health to deteriorate further and this is not what we want."


Anni's uncle, Ashok Hindocha, has pleaded with Dewani to tell the truth.

On Sunday evening, Talk Radio 702 and 567 CapeTalk hosted a press briefing for the family.

Hindocha said the family just wants to carry on with their lives.

"We just want to know what happened to our daughter so we can go on with our lives. We are not going to get Anni back, we know that but we need to move on."

For the latest on the trial go to EWN's Dewani Trial live blog.