Mozambique: Government claims operational success against armed groups in north
File: Manuel Chang, former finance minister of Mozambique, at court to fight extradition to the US in Kempton Park, South Africa on January 8, 2019. Photo: AFP
The South African government will notify Mozambique, the US and Interpol about Tuesday’s ministerial decision on where to extradite former Mozambican finance minister Manuel Chang to “in the next few days”, Max Mpuzana, spokesperson for South Africa’s Ministry of Justice and Correctional Services, told Lusa.
Mpuzana said Chang’s extradition proceedings would begin shortly after notification of the respective countries and the international police. Chang’s lawyers declined to comment on the decision.
“I have decided that the accused, Mr Manuel Chang, will be extradited to stand trial for his alleged offences in Mozambique,” South African Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Michael Masutha said in a statement released yesterday by the South African Department of Justice and Constitutional Development (DOJ&CD).
According to the same note, the South African official took into account that “the accused is a citizen of the Republic of Mozambique”, that “the alleged offence was committed whilst he was minister of state in the Republic of Mozambique” and the “onerous debt for Mozambique as a result of the alleged fraud”,
On the other hand, the South African government also considered “the submission made by Mr Chang to be extradited to his home country”, the “interests of the states concerned [the United States of America and Mozambique] ” and the “seriousness of the alleged offence”.
Judge William Schutte, of Kempton Park court, outside Johannesburg, considered the Mozambican application to be valid, and referred the decision on the extradition of Manuel Chang to the Minister of Justice on April 8, after deciding on that same morning that the former Mozambican official could also be extradited to the United States.
The extradition process of Manuel Chang was sent to the South African minister about two weeks before the May 8 legislative elections in which the ruling African National Congress (ANC) won a majority of 57.5%, its lowest margin since 2014.
The former Mozambican finance minister, who has been detained in South Africa since December at the request of the United States in the framework of its investigation into undeclared debts of more than US$2 billion, continues to enjoy parliamentary immunity.
South Africa’s Justice Minister Michael Masutha has announced that former Mozambican Finance Minister Manuel Chang will be extradited to Maputo where he will face corruption charges. So he won’t extradited to the US. #ManuelChangpic.twitter.com/ByNtyQnnF3
— KhayelihleKhumalo (@KhayaJames) May 21, 2019