NGOs have not shown that SA was obliged to ensure that an extradited person would be effectively prosecuted by a requesting state, lawyers for former Mozambican Finance Minister Manuel Chang argued yesterday.

A News24 report quotes Advocate Jeremy Raizon who argued in the Gauteng High Court (Johannesburg) that: ‘Mozambican NGO the Forum de Monitoria do Orçamento and the Helen Suzman Foundation have identified no provision in any of the cited treaties or conventions to the effect that there is an obligation upon the requested state to ensure that the extradited person will be effectively prosecuted by the requesting state, because they cannot.

The duty on states to co-operate cannot and does not amount to a duty to ensure the effective prosecution of an extraditee,’ he added.

Raizon was arguing in Chang's application to compel Justice Minister Ronald Lamola to give effect to a May 2019 decision, in terms of section 11 of the Extradition Act, to extradite and surrender Chang to Mozambique.

Raizon stated that even if the obligation existed, former Minister of Justice Michael Masutha complied with it in deciding to extradite Chang to Mozambique.

Masutha decided on 21 May to have Chang extradited to Mozambique – not the US.

Masutha's decision followed the Kempton Park Magistrate's Court's ruling on 8 April that Chang should be extradited to the US on fraud-related charges.

Chang is wanted by the US in connection with allegations of conspiracy to commit fraud and taking millions of dollars in bribes in a $2bn loan scandal.

Judgment has been reserved.

Full News24 report