Mafioso's lawyers want SA minister's help

2012-04-20 18:02

Johannesburg - Lawyers for alleged Italian mafia member Vito Palazzolo have approached the Western Cape High Court in a bid to keep him from being deported to Italy.

In court papers submitted on Thursday, his lawyers asked the court to rule that the minister of international relations must appeal to the Thai government on Palazzolo's behalf.

This was to notify the other country - where Palazzo, 64, has been detained - that he was a South African citizen and that he was travelling on a South African passport.

"...In terms of s 21(3) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, he is entitled to enter South Africa."

Palazzolo is currently in jail in Thailand after flying there from Hong Kong. Italian authorities are however attempting to get him deported for alleged crimes committed in Italy.

Should the application be unsuccessful, the lawyers have requested an order for the minister to provide the reasons for it.

He is allegedly a wanted member of the Sicilian mafia and is being investigated for money laundering. In 2006 he was convicted in absentia for Mafia links.

The probe was started by the now-defunct Scorpions and taken over by the Hawks.

In March 2003, Palazzolo was found not guilty of fraudulently acquiring citizenship by the Cape Town Regional Court.

  • bluzulu - 2012-04-20 18:23

    Leave this crim in Thailand, The prisons in Asia are just as good as ours, Thanks.

  • karen.inward - 2012-04-20 18:26

    Vito Palazzolo has enjoyed SA protection for years - the Thai authorities will hopefully achieve that which SA was unable to do, that is repatriate this crook to Italy!

  • Fred - 2012-04-20 18:36

    Why on earth should our government interfere? We don't want all these fugitives in our country. Let him go back and serve his time in jail in Italy !!!!!

  • Kevin - 2012-04-20 19:13

    This mafioso entered South Africa via the Ciskei(Lennox Sebe), he used false names, and it appears was protected by members of the Cabinet in the days of NP Government. He escaped prison in Switzerland and has been convicted in the country of his birth under their organised crime laws. He is also wanted by US authorities for money laundering. Let the Thais extradite him to Italy he is a criminal.

      Koos - 2012-04-21 02:24

      You can he obtain it legally if he did it under false names? Baffles the mind how some of these decisions are made. Wonder if he is still a Italian citizen too? Government will protect him as he must be donating $$$ to the ancESTORAL piggybank.

  • Grant - 2012-04-21 05:18

    How did this guy get SA citizenship? When I wanted to move to SA even though I had a SA wife I had to bubmit amongst other things: A police clearance. 2 referals. A letter from my employer stating that no SA citizen could be found for the job. How times have changed. I just wonder how much money goes into the back poket.

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