'EXTRADITE BOTSWANA FUGITIVE'
February 23, 2012: In South Africa, the Constitutional Court heard arguments in a case involving Botswana nationals Jerry Phale and Emmanuel Tsebe - sought by the country for allegedly murdering their partners between 2008 and 2009.
The country had a constitutional obligation not to extradite wanted suspects to countries where they faced the death penalty if successfully prosecuted for criminal offences.
Argument by Home Affairs counsel Marumo Moerane SC advanced that because capital punishment was a mandated sentence for murder in Botswana, that fact alone was "not sufficient" to stop extradition but that the authorities should look into the "likelihood" that capital punishment would actually be carried out.
The two men fled to SA before they could stand trial in Botswana - where the death penalty is mandated for such an offence.
Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma sought to deport the two men since they were in the country illegally.
The matter has been heard before in the Johannesburg High Court, which ruled last year that Phale and Tsebe, who has since died in custody, should not be extradited unless Prime Minister Ian Khama's administration gives assurances that capital punishment would not be imposed.
Advocate Michael Donen SC, for the state, argued that laws preventing the state from deporting Phale resulted in a burden on SA. But Justice Johann van der Westhuizen dismissed Donen's remark as sounding "political". (Sources: sowetanlive.co.za, 24/02/2012)