Businessman calls for Shrien Dewani extradition to be halted
A PLEA has been made to halt Shrien Dewani's extradition to South Africa.
The 33-year-old is accused of plotting to murder his new wife Anni Dewani during their honeymoon to Cape Town in 2010.
Mr Dewani, of Westbury-on-Trym, denies any involvement in her murder and has always maintained he wants to go back to clear his name. In September 2011, Home Secretary Theresa May approved his extradition.
However, due to his severe post traumatic stress disorder he has not yet gone back and his extradition is due to be reviewed by a judge in Westminster this July.
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In the mean-time, a businessman called Justin Lewis has written to the Home Secretary asking for the extradition to be halted due to alleged corruption in the South African legal system, and requesting a meeting with her.
Mr Lewis writes: "The implications for integrity of the SA courts and the SA justice system appear self-evident, and until this corruption is addressed we submit no guarantee can be given that human rights are respected in SA courts.
"The Human rights of UK citizens, as in the Dewani extradition case, as well as the right to fair and just administrative action is, I believe, an international concern we all share."
As previously reported, the South African authorities are investigating corruption claims against the barrister who could end up prosecuting Mr Dewani.
Aggrieved Mr Lewis – one of 37 victims of an alleged multi-million rand liquidation fraud – has asked for a probe into a number of people and parties, including lawyer Adrian Mopp.
It is claimed that a syndicate, including lawyers and figures working for state institutions, has used tactics such as phone hacking and threats of violence in a 14-year fraud.
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), of which Mr Mopp is regional director for the Western Cape, has confirmed it is "attending" to the allegations that he failed to investigate the alleged fraud properly and allowed corruption to take place while he was a regional head of the now disbanded NPA unit, the Directorate of Special Operation, known as the Scorpions. .
Mr Mopp strenuously denies any wrong-doing and said: "Mr Lewis' complaint has been entertained previously and found to be without merit."
Mr Lewis has called for all extraditions from the UK to South Africa to be halted until the investigation is concluded and the protection of human rights can be confirmed.
An "intervention application" has been sent to Advocate Nomgcobo Jiba, the acting head of the NPA.
Mr Lewis has also written to the South African High Commissioner in London – Dr Zola Skweyiya – and requested a meeting.
Gunmen Xolile Mngeni, Mziwamadoda Qwabe and taxi driver Zola Tongo have all been convicted and jailed for their part in the murder of 28-year-old Anni Dewani.
She was shot after the taxi she and Mr Dewani were travelling in was car-jacked in Gugulethu.
South African police have accused fromer Bristol Grammar School pupil Mr Dewani of arranging and paying for the hit.
Given his current mental state, his family only want him to return to South Africa if the "appropriate conditions" are in place – including not languishing in a prison for anywhere up to two years before standing trial. His family declined to comment on Mr Lewis' letters.
A Home Office spokeswoman said: "We don't routinely comment on private correspondence to the Home Secretary. The Home Secretary will reply to the letter in due course."
The NPA in South Africa did not respond to The Post's questions.