Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Dysfunctional justice system; vile prisons hamper Dewani extradiction---------------------  Shrien Dewani, accused of ordering wife Anni’s contract murder in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, ‘could escape extradiction because of the clearly prejudiced police-chief Cele;

the questionable bona-fides of Judge Hlophe; and SA’s violent prisons which would violate the UK citizen’s human rights:’ expert opinion by Adv Paul Hoffman SC of the Centre for Constitutional Rights..   --------------------        2011-01-04 Journalist Carryn-Ann Nel of Burger Afrikaans daily in Cape Town reports  that various strong factors ‘could be used as credible arguments against the extradiction of UK citizen Mr Shrien Dewani to South Africa to stand trial for the alleged ‘contract killing’of his wife Anni. 

Nel quoted Adv Paul Hoffman SC, one of the country’s acknowledged top legal brains, a member of the Cape Bar and former acting judge at the West Cape High Court , as citing some of the factors which Dewani’s legal team could credibly use to stop the young UK citizen from being taken to SA for what promises to be a very high-profile, propagandist trial: 

  Amongst these factors are:      ‘The dysfunctional South African judicial system, recently even publicly criticised by former Justice Minister Johnny de Lange himself; the dangerously violent, overcrowded prisons of the Western cape;

SAPS chief Bheki Cele’s own  prejudicial remark when he referred to Mr Dewani as a ‘monkey’; and the high level of controversy surrounding the Western Cape High Court’s  Judge-President John Hlophe.   

    Judge John Hlophe infamously said: “I wil not shake a white man’s hand” –   also: his entire courtroom sagas are on Legal Brief:    http://www.legalbrief.co.za/index.php?page=HlopheSaga  -------------------   

 ‘Dewani will never get a fair trial in South Africa…’  Dewani’s hearing in the UK – examining South Africa’s request for his extradiction -  starts on 20 January.

Two lawyers in the UK, Ms Akta Raja who is a cousin of Dewani, and a friend Mr Andrew Jackson, both wrote in an open letter to The Telegraph this week that Dewani would ‘never get a fair trial in SA.   

 Raja and Jackson questioned the leniency shown in Judge John Hlophe’s fast-track trial of taxi-driver Zola Tongo, who had fingered Dewani as the ‘master-brain’ behind the assassination-style murder of Anni Dewani in his dramatic testimony.

 Tonga was given a very lenient prison sentence of 18 years for his active role in Anni Dewani’s murder: he admitted that he willingly participated in the kidnapping and armed robbery of the honeymoon-couple; and also participated in the execution-style murder of Anni Dewani in a taxi in Khayelitsha township.  

 The two UK lawyers quote South African Sunday Times journalist  Anton Ferreira as writing:      “Be afraid, Shrien Dewani, be very afraid. If you are extradited to South Africa, the police will treat you like an animal, cook up false evidence against you, and then throw you into an overcrowded jail ruled by gangs where you will rot for the rest of your life.” 

   They continue: ‘This terrifying picture is lent weight by William Booth, chairman of the Criminal Law Committee of the Law Society of South Africa, who notes: “It’s been established in South Africa that there’s been manipulation of evidence that goes to the heart not only of the police investigation, but of the prosecution…

 The overcrowding in prisons, the gangster activity in prisons, [Shrien’s] right to have medical treatment – there’s very little medical treatment within prisons, we know that.” 

  The two UK lawyers ask: “Do you think you (Shrien) – an innocent man who needs psychiatric treatment for bereavement, not incarceration – would survive unharmed, or survive at all, in Pollsmoor, Cape Town’s notorious prison for defendants awaiting trial?

 Which of the various gangs called “The Numbers” do you want to join? http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/southafrica/8235196/Presumed-guilty-a-personal-plea-for-my-cousin-Shrien-Dewani.html  

------------------------------   Hoffman (right) – one of South Africa’s acknowledged top legal brains and a leading member of the Cape Bar  --  said when asked to comment about the comments in this letter to The Telegraph, that the Dewani legal team could indeed use all these factors - including the fact that former Justice Minister Advocate Johnny de Lange had also raised the issue of the many problems now plaguing the judicial system. 

  Hoffman also confirmed that Judge John Hlophe was “a controversial figure.

Yet it would be Hlophe who would have to decide as the judge-president of the Western Cape High Court which judge would handle the Dewani case.

 Yet as we all know, there is a very large question mark hanging over Hlophe’s integrity,” he pointed out.  ----------------------------  sources and links:     Adv Johnny de Lange: http://www.politicsweb.co.za/politicsweb/view/politicsweb/en/page71619?oid=116717&sn=Detail&pid=71619    Judge Hlophe: “I will not shake a white man’s hand:” http://censorbugbear-reports.blogspot.com/2009/08/racism-complaint-against-top-black-sa.html    Judge Hlophe’s saga on Legal Brief:  http://www.legalbrief.co.za/index.php?page=HlopheSaga    Adv. Paul Hoffman SC: http://www.fwdklerk.org.za/cgi-bin/giga.cgi?cmd=cause_dir_leader&leader_id=5495&cause_id=2137 

   Open letter pleading for Shrien Dewani, The Telegraph:


 Some recent examples of manipulation of forensic evidence by Western Cape police:      Marieke de Klerk, former SA first lady: false testimony by convicted murderer Luayanda Mboniswa that her adopted son ‘had ordered the killing’.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/1695061.stm    Ilze Lotz, Stellenbosch University student murder: accused boyfriend Fred van der Vyver found innocent of her murder’: testimony: his fingerprints were lifted off a glass in his flat by SAPS investigators and planted on a DVD-holder at the Lotz crime-scene: testimony by top Dutch finger-print expert: