Mozambique: Justice and Constitutional Development Files Response to Mr Manuel Chang's Application to Surrender to Mozambique Authorities

press release

Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Mr Ronald Lamola, has authorised the Director-General of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, Mr Vusi Madonsela, to file papers in response to Mr Manuel Chang's urgent application to be surrendered to the Mozambique authorities.

The Minister also recieved additional papers from a Mozambican NGO seeking review of the Kempton Park Magistrates Court that found Mr Chang is extraditable to Mozambique. Upon legal advice, the Minister decided not to oppose the application.

The department filed its own application on the same matter placing before the court new information that only emerged after the Former Minister had decided to extradite Mr Chang to Mozambique. Such information pertains to double immunity that Mr Chang enjoys in terms of Mozambican law.

Such immunities appear to suggest that any extradition to Mozambique will contravene the SADC Protocol, South African Constitution and the Extradition Act. As such the previous decision may not be legally permissible.

The South African Extradition Act also requires that the person to be extradited should have been charged for the crimes he is alleged to have committed. In Mr Chang case it is not the case since his immunities were not yet lifted. It is for the above reasons that the Minister authorized the Director-General to oppose Mr Chang's application.

The department has, therefore approached the Court to take into account the new information viz-a-vis the Former Minister's decision. The Minister will be guided by the outcomes of the three applications on what action to take. He has further expressed his confidence in the South African judiciary, describing it as robust, objective and independent.

Issued by: Department of Justice and Constitutional Development

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