South African prosecutors attempted to “trick” the British man accused of ordering his wife's murder on their honeymoon into returning to South Africa, so that they could detain him without the need for an extradition agreement.
Documents marked “confidential", which have been seen by the Observer, reveal how South African authorities reached a secret plea bargain with the principal witness against Shrien Dewani and then attempted to lure the Briton to Cape Town on false pretences, while intending that he would face trial.
The Bristol-based businessman is accused by South African police of arranging the killing of his Swedish wife, Anni, on 13 November last year. She was shot after the apparent hijacking of their taxi in a township in Cape Town. Her body was later found in the abandoned car. Dewani, 31, had been released unharmed.
His extradition hearing on 3 May will continue on a later date, to allow time for a psychiatric report on Dewani's condition to be compiled. The millionaire care home owner was detained in a secure mental health hospital after magistrates in London heard he was suffering from severe post-traumatic stress disorder. Dewani was admitted to Fromeside, in Bristol, after he was removed from the Priory.
According to the documents, taken from the Western Cape's directorate for priority crime investigations, the couple's driver, Zola Tongo, claimed in a plea bargain read out in the Cape high court on 7 December that Dewani had paid him 1,000 rand (£90) to organise the killing of his 28-year-old wife. The documents show that Tongo, 31, had agreed the plea bargain two weeks earlier, on 21 November. The same day, prosecutors asked Dewani to visit Cape Town to identify his wife's jewellery.