Concourt to rule on extraditions

2012-07-27 06:58

The Constitutional Court is expected to rule on whether South Africa may legally deport illegal immigrants charged with a capital crime in another country.

The constitutionality of extraditions was challenged in February by two Botswana citizens, Emmanuel Tsebe and Jerry Phale with the ruling set to be handed down today.

They applied to the High Court in Pretoria to prevent their extradition, unless Botswana gave South Africa a written assurance that they would not get the death penalty.

Both Tsebe and Phale were charged with murdering their partners, but fled to South Africa.

The high court granted an order in the pair’s favour. South Africa’s ministers of home affairs and justice and constitutional development however appealed to the Constitutional Court, which heard the matter in February.

Lawyers for the ministers argued the high court had not paid attention to the relevant provisions of the Immigration Act in determining its ruling.

Anton Katz, for Phale and Tsebe, argued the court order was supported by previous Constitutional Court decisions and international law.

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