SA businessman Tim Marsland – alleged to have fleeced nearly R280m from Botswana’s Public Officers Pension Fund in a money laundering scam – will remain behind bars pending an extradition hearing, despite another attempt by his lawyers to secure his release.

A Times Select report notes Marsland – considered a fugitive by the Botswanan Government – was arrested by Interpol agents while trying to board a flight to Germany in July.

At the helm of investment firm, Capital Management Botswana, Marsland and his business partner were allocated nearly R700m by the fund in 2016, with an agreement that the money would be bound for private equity investments in the country.

Botswanan authorities allege Marsland laundered the money through a raft of companies to acquire wealth for his personal benefit.

Marsland appeared before Magistrate Sagra Subroyen in the Kempton Park Magistrate’s Court last week.

The state advocate said Botswanan officials had submitted their formal request for extradition, including a diplomatic note verbale, through the Department of International Relations & Co-operation. The documents had then been submitted to Justice Minister Ronald Lamola, who is required by law to issue a notice which then triggers extradition proceedings.

Advocate Charles E Thompson, for Marsland, launched a bid to have his client released. He said in terms of the Southern African Development Community protocol on extradition, the Justice Minister has 30 days to produce a notice to allow the extradition process to proceed.

Thompson argued that the prescribed period had long lapsed.

But the magistrate said the 30-day window pertained to the receipt of the documents by the Department of Justice, and not to the notice issued by the Minister.

The argument is that the 30-day period has elapsed and that the applicant should be immediately released. Accordingly, the application is refused,’ she ruled.

Marsland is due back in court in September.

Full Times Select report