Western Cape judge president John Hlope’s ruled that British millionaire businessman Shrien Dewani, suspected of the 2010 honeymoon murder of his wife in Cape Town five years ago, is fit to stand trial.
The greying accused, who fought unsuccessfully for three years to avoid extradition from Britain, looked on calmly as he heard his trial will begin on October 6.
Judge John Hlope’s ruling follows receipt of an expert assessment of Shrien Dewani, who was extradited from Britain in April, stating that the businessman’s not mentally ill.
Dewani denies the accusation that he hired three South Africans to kill his 28-year-old Swedish bride Anni Dewani in Cape Town in November 2010.
He claimed at the time that he and his wife were hijacked during their honeymoon.
He escaped unharmed. His wife was shot dead. Her body was discovered the following day.
Three South Africans have been tried and convicted for their role in Annie Dewani’s death.
Enfuriated South Africans say Dewani used the country’s reputation for violent crime as a cover for his murder plans.
The prosecution is expected to argue that Dewani is gay and was lethally kicking back against a marriage arranged by his family.
Dewani’s defence advocate Francois van Zyl indicated they won’t contest the ruling.
Prosecutor Rodney de Kok says he’s pleased at the outcome.