South Africa: Justice Minister Lamola Urges High Court Not to Send Mozambican Ex-Finance Minister Chang Home

analysis

The Johannesburg High Court has been urged to set aside former justice minister Michael Masutha's decision to extradite Mozambique's former finance minister Manuel Chang to his home country.

Justice Minister Ronald Lamola, a Mozambican watchdog NGO monitoring the budget and South Africa's Helen Suzman Foundation have told the Johannesburg High Court that former justice minister Michael Masutha's decision to extradite Mozambique's former finance minister Manuel Chang to his home country had been unconstitutional because he had not taken into consideration at the time that Chang still enjoyed immunity from prosecution in Mozambique as a member of parliament.

The case pits South Africa's commitment to the law against its foreign policy interests because it has to choose against the demands of an ally, Mozambique, against the requirements of its own law and constitution.

The three applicants told Judges Colin Lamont, Denise Fisher and Edwin Molahlehi that South Africa's Extradition Act did not allow the government to extradite a person to a country where he might not be prosecuted. South African law demanded that Chang be prosecuted in South Africa or extradited to face prosecution elsewhere, as advocate Max du Plessis argued, on behalf of the Helen Suzman Foundation, a friend of...

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