Honeymoon murder suspect Shrien Dewani was ”too ill” to attend his extradition hearing in London yesterday – in which lawyers were due to outline his motive for killing her.
Businessman Dewani, 31, is accused of hiring a hitman to kill his wife Anni, 28 during their honeymoon in Cape Town on November 13.
South African authorities are seeking to have Mr Dewani returned to the country to stand trial for the alleged contract killing of the stunning Swedish engineer.
He has previously fought attempts to extradite him but friends recently revealed he is considering travelling back to the country voluntarily.
Mr Dewani’s spokesman Max Clifford said his client was unwell and would not attend the hearing at City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court.
He added that Mr Dewani, from Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol, did not need to attend the hearing as it was just a 20-minute formality to fix a date for a future hearing.
No members of Mr Dewani’s family were likely to attend the court, he said.
Swedish Anni was shot when the couple the taxi were travelling in was hijacked in the Gugulethu township on the outskirts of Cape Town on November 13.
Shrien and taxi driver Zola Tongo were ejected from the taxi before Anni was driven away.
She was later found dead in the back of the abandoned cab with a bullet wound to her neck.
Shuttle bus driver Zola Tongo, 31, was sentenced to 18 years in prison last year in a plea bargain arrangement.
He claimed Mr Dewani paid him R16,000 (£1,400) to stage a hijacking, along with Xolile Mnguni and Mziwamadoda Qwabe, who are in custody in South Africa.
Mr Dewani will be represented by Taswell Papier, who once represented Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, on sexual assault allegations made in Cape Town.