Self-confessed nutcase Shrien Dewani has lost his latest battle against extradition to South Africa to face charges over the murder of his wife in Cape Town in November 2010.
The 33-year-old, who has depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, strongly denies any involvement in his wife’s murder.
His risk of suicide is real but not immediate, and while he remains moderately depressed he is better than he was, Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard.
Dewani was seeking to delay his extradition on account of his mental health.
He now has 14 days if he wants to appeal against the decision.
Again, I have been surprised by the aggression and vehemence of opinion amongst twitter users in South Africa with regard to this case, but I can completely understand it. The country was still on an all time high post the amazing 2010 World Cup and this was a harsh, stark, and unnecessary reality check.
As I commented here – before any of the allegations of a hitman being hired – the initial story we were given of the “hijacking” never sounded plausible:
Something isn’t quite right with this “detour into Gugulethu to see the nightlife” story in my mind.
We were brought down to earth with a bump, the country’s reputation was dragged (further) through the mud, and – if the case against Dewani is proven correct – with absolutely no good reason.
Perhaps because of this, South Africa public opinion has generally been that, rather than suffering from any sort of mental disorder, Dewani is merely seeking to avoid facing justice. Many have already made up their minds that he is guilty, which is no surprise, given that in the intervening period, Mziwamadoda Qwabe, Zola Tongo, Monde Mbolombo and Xolile Mngeni have all been tried, found guilty and sentenced for their parts in the crime. Indeed, Qwabe, Tongo and Mbolombo admitted their guilt – and implicated Dewani – in return for lighter sentences.
It does seem that Dewani is slowly running out of options and if he does get extradited to SA, I don’t foresee a particularly friendly welcome. Because we’re fine with slagging off the country on a daily basis from within, but when someone from overseas makes us look bad, well, that’s different.