Commentary : British businessman Shrien Dewani is charged with arranging the murder of his wife Anni while on honeymoon in South Africa, in 2010. Oscar Pistorius killed his girlfriend Reeva Steemkamp on Valentine's Day 2013 and in his case a South African trial is all about determining whether it was a tragic accident or murder.
Both men have been in the spotlight for some time but the loved ones of the two victims deserve justice and soon.
Read More - Shrien Dewani extradited to South Africa
Pistorius tells court Reeva died in his arms
The trial of Pistorius is due to resume on June 30. He has been undergoing a psychiatric assessment at a hospital facility. This assessment was recommended by the trial judge. Although the assessment was scheduled to take 30-days he has been home for weekends, and evenings. His attendance at the Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital has been limited to 9am to 6pm on weekdays.
Has Oscar been treat in a more lenient manner than other murder suspects in South Africa? It certainly appears that way. Surely a full psychiatric assessment would have required him to be an inpatient so that sleep patterns and more could be observed.
Some suspected he had acting lessons prior to the trial but there is no evidence that was really the case. However a limited outpatient attendance at the hospital will hardly offer the in depth basement needed.
Although the Pistorius trial is scheduled to resume on June 30 don't expect any quick verdict that could take another month.
So what has all this to do with Shrien Dewani?
Mr Dewani was only extradited to South Africa in 2014. The delay was due to an alleged mental breakdown and his state of mind. His team argued to the bitter end that he was not fit for extradition to stand trial. A series of appeals and legal challenges ultimately led to the decision to extradite him to South Africa, on condition his mental health issues would not be compromised. That happened in early April.
Dewani could now undergo the same psychiatric assessment as Pistorius, but in his case before the trial which could begin in October. The Bristol Post reports :
The Western Cape High Court ordered that Dewani's mental health be officially observed due to conflicting opinions from psychiatrists at Valkenberg Hospital, where he is being held. Dewani will face observation until he is brought back to court on August 15, to resolve whether he is fit to stand trial for the murder of his wife Anni. If he is found fit, a provisional trial date of October 6 has been set. Dewani was extradited to Cape Town from Bristol in April. His trial was due to begin last month, but was put back by the judge over concerns for his mental health.