Bristol businessman Shrien Dewani will board a British Airways flight in Cape Town tonight (Tuesday) and head back to London a free man.
Judge Jeanette Traverso found him not guilty of five charges including kidnapping and murder involving the death of his wife in Cape Town on their honeymoon four years ago.
She effectively truncated the trial because the state’s case was so flimsy.
Apart from declaring he was not guilty at the start of the trial two months ago, Shrien Dewani has never spoken in the Cape High Court.
This has incensed the family of Swedish-born Anni Dewani, previously Hindocha, who was murdered in a hijacking on November 13, 2010.
Dewani went home a few days later and South African authorities fought for three years to have him extradited to stand trial in Cape Town.
The prosecution produced a taxi driver, serving a 15 year sentence for planning Anni’s killing. He claimed Dewani had paid him about a thousand euros to have his new wife killed.
Judge Jeanette Traverso says the taxi driver lied on the stand.
She could not allow herself to be swayed by public opinion and ordered that the threshold evidence produced by the state was too weak to enable any reasonable court to find Dewani guilty.
Anni’s brother Ashok says South Africa’s justice system has let them down.
By letting Dwani go without giving evidence and facing cross examination the judge has done half a job.
The family will consider what further action to take outside South Africa.