Justice ministry mum on Dewani judge's recusal

The justice department says it would be inappropriate to comment on Judge Jeanette Traverso’s recusal now.

The Hindocha family faces a large group of photographers upon arriving in Khayelitsha to mark the fourth anniversary of Anni Dewani's murder on 13 November 2014. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The Department of Justice says it would be inappropriate for Minister Michael Masutha to take action regarding the petition calling for the recusal of Judge Jeanette Traverso in the Shrien Dewani trial.

Yesterday Masutha indicated he would not recuse the judge despite calls for her removal by two local lobby groups.

Dewani is accused of hiring hit men to kill his wife, Anni, during their honeymoon in Cape Town in 2010.

The Justice4Anni group called on the justice minister to investigate her conduct during the trial.

The petition claimed that Traverso is aggressive and rude to the state while being friendly to the defence.

The department's Hishaam Mohamed said they received the petition yesterday and handed it over to the minister of justice.

Anni was killed in an alleged staged hijacking in Khayelitsha.

Three South African men have already been convicted and sentenced for their roles in her death, one of whom has since passed away.

Meanwhile, judgment in the British businessman's application to be discharged and acquitted is expected to be delivered in the Western Cape High Court on Monday.

If Dewani's application is granted he will be able to leave the country a free man.