ConCourt rules on Botswana extradition

2012-07-27 13:24

Johannesburg - A Botswana national wanted for murder may not be extradited unless that country gives the assurances that he would not face the death penalty, the Constitutional Court ruled on Friday.

Justice Edwin Cameron said it would be a breach of the statutory values of the SA Constitution to hand him over to Botswana without this assurance.

He dismissed the appeal by South Africa's ministers of home affairs and justice, re-affirming a previous judgment which set a precedent in this regard.

The precedent-setting judgment related to Khalfan Mohamed, who was wanted by the US in connection with the bombing of its embassy in Tanzania in 1998.

The Constitutional Court ruled previously that even if there was an extradition agreement between South Africa and the US, he could not be handed over without an agreement that he would not face the death penalty.


Friday's ruling related to Botswana citizens Emmanuel Tsebe and Jerry Phale, who had entered South Africa allegedly after murdering family members in separate cases.

Tsebe has since died.

Phale's attorney Jacob van Garderen said it was important to affirm that there would not be an extradition to a country where people faced the death penalty, without such an agreement.

"The court again emphasised that the imposition of the death penalty is unconstitutional, in line with the judgment of Mohamed."

Van Garderen said Friday's judgment meant Phale no longer faced the immediate risk of being extradited.

"But nothing stops the [Botswana] government from making a new request."

  • shirley.steenkamp - 2012-07-27 13:33

    We expect other countries to extradite wanted felons to face the process of our court system,therefore we should do the same! If we begin to enforce our "constitution" on other countries,this could open a whole new can of problems,which down the line could come back to bite us!

      edockel - 2012-07-27 20:56

      The justice system? I do not know if those people practising law are not aliens ( from outer space) All over the world their judgements have no logic

  • shellerjc.rjc - 2012-07-27 13:40

    & he gets to live?? WHY??? He TOOK a life -------

      shirley.steenkamp - 2012-07-27 13:52

      Because for some unexplicable reason-the S.A. constitution believes its ok to take a life,however it is wrong to pay for that life with your own! Hence our sickening murder rate and criminals with NO regard for human life! Now every crim on the run,whos country has the death penalty will seek safety here!!! No logic to the whole scenario,but then again not much logic in S.A. at all!!

  • mofstok - 2012-07-27 13:44

    This is nonsense, he must face the Botswana justice system for crimes commited in Botswana, including possible capital punishment.

  • millionwatts1 - 2012-07-27 13:51

    Is this not the same justice system expecting Shrien Dewani to come face murder charges here? They must go to Botswana where they committed the crime. Whether they are executed or not is up to the Botswana justice system not the country they are hiding in.

  • Kenny - 2012-07-27 14:03

    You commit murder and then flee to a neighboring country to escape a similar fate it's not fair to the victim. The man must go home to suffer the consequences of his murdeous actions

  • mnmwale - 2012-07-27 14:14

    Who needs a constitution that protects terrorists and murderers? Of course, terrorists and murderers!

  • aarchaic - 2012-07-27 14:58

    Who are we to say to another country what to do and not to do with their justice systems? also what does that tell the rest of the worlds criminals come hide in South Africa "Gangsta Paradise"

  • FinalJustice - 2012-07-27 15:04

    Brilliant, let's welcome them here in sunny SA - Please murderers, rapists, criminals, come to our lovely country. We want you here, you are safe here. Nothing will happen to you for as long as the ANC takes care of our judicial system. Here you can commit your crimes to your heart's content - no worries, please come and live the South African dream!

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