SOUTH AFRICA: CONSTITUTIONAL COURT UPHOLDS DEATH PENALTY RULING
July 27, 2012: In South Africa, the Constitutional Court has upheld a ruling that government can't extradite people if they are facing the death penalty in their home countries.
The judgement relates to the case of two Botswanan citizens, Emmanuel Tsebe and Jerry Phale. They had entered South Africa allegedly after murdering family members in separate cases.
Tsebe has since died.
They took the Home Affairs Department to court for trying to deport them.
The men argued that their extradition was illegal under South African law.
Phale's attorney Jacob van Garderen said it was important to affirm that there would not be an extradition to a country where people faced the death penalty, without such an agreement.
The Society for the Abolition of the Death Penalty has welcomed the move.
The group's Bongomusa Sibiya says South Africa can find ways to deal with such cases within our own borders.
"The solution for the South African government is to prosecute people similarly placed ... so we enable South Africa to take these people to court and then impose an appropriate sentence, but that would not be the death penalty." (Sources: www.ecr.co.za, 27/07/2012)