If South African law enforcement authorities had stopped Euloge Christian Kadima, a Congolese fugitive, from fleeing the country following two reported incidents in which he was accused of assaulting women in Johannesburg, then he would probably not be in Kenyan police custody as the main suspect in the murder of a lawyer.
This week Kadima was ordered to remain at the Machakos GK Prison for another week when he appeared at the Machakos court on Monday for the murder of Elizabeth Koki.
He will undergo a mental assessment before he makes a plea after the court ordered that he be subjected to the assessment and be remanded at the prison before his next court appearance on February 3.
The court also ordered that the suspect be provided with a pro-bono lawyer for the case to proceed, since he wasn’t represented by any advocate.
His case was moved from Mavoko Law Courts to the high court on Monday.
Koki was found lying dead on her bed on January 8, according to her housekeeper, who alleged the last person who was in the house was Kadima.
The housekeeper said she had heard screams the night before, coming from her bedroom, but had not bothered to find out what was happening until the following morning when her boss did not wake up.
She raised the alarm and later informed the police who launched a manhunt for Kadima, who used his phone and Koki’s car to give false information on his whereabouts until he was finally nabbed at a lodge within Kenya’s capital Nairobi.
Investigations by City Press in Kenya reveal that Kadima arrived in the country in June 2017, allegedly using a fake Nigerian passport.
Police spokesperson Colonel Athlenda Mathe confirmed that Kadima was a wanted man, and he was first arrested for assault and causing grievous bodily harm.
This saw a warrant of arrest being issued by the Randburg Magistrate’s Court in July 2017.
Despite this, Mathe said the South African police have never forwarded an extradition order or request to Kenya based on instructions by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in Johannesburg.
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said an advocate dealing with extraditions only took over in May 2020 and had no record of the case.
NPA spokesperson Phindi Louw Mjonondwane said the extraditions register was in the DPP office and that the office was close for decontamination.
She said that, on July 3 2017, the NPA successfully requested a warrant of arrest for the suspect, and it was duly authorised for assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm.
“It is, however, of importance to note that the matter was not enrolled on the court roll, as the NPA is still awaiting the arrest of the suspect,” said Louw Mjonondwane.
“Regarding the allegation that the DPP office instructed SAPS [the SA Police Service] not to issue an extradition order, it is not true, as there is no record in the DPP office (the extradition register shows that the matter was never brought to the DPP office) that shows that the matter was brought to the DPP office for consideration of an extradition application.”
Louw Mjonondwane said the process of extradition was such that, once a docket was referred to the DPP office for a decision, a file would be opened and the matter assessed to ascertain whether the offence was extraditable.
For an offence to be extraditable, a sentence of six months imprisonment must be prescribed.
Furthermore, the extraditions of SA Development Community (SADC) countries are governed by the SADC Protocol, article 3, which prescribes that extraditable offences are punishable by imprisonment or other deprivation of liberty for a period of at least a year.
Although Kenya is not part of the SADC, the period of one year of imprisonment is generally the yardstick.
“It is suggested that the SAPS present the docket to our office so that a decision can be taken if a request for extradition will be made,” she explained.
In Kenya, on January 14 2021, Kadima was forced by detectives attached to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations to record a statement on Koki’s murder, after days of denying involvement.
The murder of Koki attracted the attention of the Law Society of Kenya, the official lawyers’ union in the East African country, which has promised to ensure that justice prevails.