Dewani due to arrive in SA on 8 April

JOHANNESBURG - Honeymoon murder accused Shrien Dewani will be extradited from Britain to South Africa, the justice department said on Saturday.

"The extradition process is now being handled by South African government through the justice department," said spokesman Mthunzi Mhaga.

He said the department was liaising with the office of the Home Secretary in Britain to facilitate the extradition.

"We are working tirelessly to ensure that his return to our shores brings to finality this protracted legal process."

Mhaga could not confirm the day Dewani was expected to arrive in the country.

Dewani, 33, from Bristol, would face charges related to the murder of his wife Anni in Cape Town in 2010. He stands accused of masterminding the murder.

Dewani claimed the couple were kidnapped at gun point as they drove through Gugulethu in Cape Town in a taxi in November 2010.

Dewani was released unharmed. The next day his wife's body was found in the abandoned car. She had been shot dead.

The couple were on honeymoon at the time.

Xolile Mngeni was convicted of the murder and jailed for life. Prosecutors allege Dewani hired him to kill his wife.

Taxi driver Zola Tongo was jailed for 18 years after he admitted his part in the killing. Another accomplice, Mziwamadoda Qwabe, pleaded guilty to murder and received a 25-year prison sentence.

Dewani, who is being detained in hospital under the Mental Health Act, has denied any part in the murder.

The battle to get him back to South Africa began in December 2010 after Anni’s death.

He appeared at the Westminster magistrate’s court in London after a warrant for his arrest was issued.

His extradition hearing moved to the Belmarsh magistrate’s court in May.

Later a judge ruled that he can be extradited to South Africa. But Dewani lodged an appeal against the high court ruling.

In March the following year, another high court temporarily halted the extradition.

The case resumed in July and his extradition was again ordered.

He was refused permission to appeal to the Supreme Court earlier this month.

He has made use of most of the legal avenues available to avoid his extradition from the UK to South Africa.

* Additonal reporting eNCA

- Sapa

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