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File photo: Folha de Maputo
The South African Supreme Court has scheduled a hearing on the Manuel Chang extradition case for August 13, VOA has learned from reliable sources.
The judges will examine a request from the Mozambican Budget Monitoring Forum (FMO) against Chang’s extradition to Mozambique, and another from the South African Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Ronald Lamola, also opposing the decision of his predecessor Michael Masutha to extradite Chang to Mozambique.
Lamola’s inclination runs counter to that of his predecessor, Michael Masutha, who, faced with deciding whether to extradite Chang to the United States or Mozambique, opted for the latter, a decision the new justice minister considers violates the country’s constitution.
— Gabriel Seakamela (@GabrielMothiba) July 19, 2019
Earlier, the non-governmental Mozambican organisation, the Budget Monitoring Forum (FMO), also appealed to the South African authorities, requesting the overturning of the previous minister’s decision.
The FMO’s Denise Namburete agrees. “We consider that the decision to extradite Sr. Manuel Chang for Mozambique violates the South African constitution,” he says, expressing hope that any further decision “will be taken on its legal merits and not for political reasons”.
The FMO appealed to the South African Supreme Court on the grounds that Manuel Chang faced no lawsuit against him in his own country and that, “if he is extradited to Mozambique, he will walk free”.
Denise Namburete notes that the Attorney General of the Republic of Mozambique has no proceedings open against Manuel Chang, and therefore maintains that, “the best option would be extradition to the United States, which has an accusatory process [pending]”.
Manuel Chang was detained in South Africa in late December 2018 at the request of the US justice system and awaits extradition to the United States or to Mozambique, according to the decision of the district court judge at Kempton Park.
Meanwhile, on Friday (July 19), Ronald Lamola held a bilateral meeting with his counter part, Minister of Justice, Constitutional and Religious Affairs of Mozambique Joaquim Veríssimo, at the SADC Ministerial Committee of the Organ (MCO) on Politics Defence and Security Cooperation, in Zambia. Photos of the meeting were posted on Lamola’s official Twitter account (above).Source: Folha de Maputo