Home affairs joins in Magudumana matter, case postponed

The Bloemfontein High Court has postponed the urgent application brought by Doctor Nandipha Magudumana seeking to challenge her recent deportation from the United Republic of Tanzania to Thursday, June 1.

This is in part due to Home Affairs joining proceedings in opposing the application as the sixth respondent.

Magudumana, a prominent figure engulfed in the scandal, filed an urgent court application contesting the lawfulness of her arrest and subsequent deportation last week.

The other respondents named in her court papers, dated May 19, include Police Minister Bheki Cele, Captain Tieho Flyman, and Magistrate Mohlolo Khabisi, among others.

Magudumana claims that she was forcefully taken from Tanzania to the airport while blindfolded, alleging that South African police officers were responsible for her alleged abduction.

Her legal team intends to argue that these officers did not have jurisdiction to arrest her in a foreign country.

Responding to the allegations, Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi vehemently denied Magudumana’s claims of arrest and abduction during a recent media briefing.

Expressing surprise at not being cited as a respondent in the case, Motsoaledi revealed that the Department of Home Affairs had requested the removal of the application from the urgent court roll.

Motsoaledi reiterated that Magudumana and her partner, convicted criminal Thabo Bester, were considered prohibited immigrants under Tanzanian immigration laws, leading to their deportation. He clarified that the same procedure was followed for the Mozambican national apprehended alongside them.

Motsoaledi highlighted that on May 21, the department’s director-general sent a letter to Magudumana’s attorneys, refuting the claim that her deportation was unlawful.

However, the department was surprised to find that they were not named as respondents in the court papers, despite the previous exchange of correspondence between the director-general and Magudumana’s legal representatives.

While the Department of Home Affairs attempted to resolve the matter outside of court, Motsoaledi expressed his intention to attend the court proceedings if the application is not withdrawn.

“The director-general was shocked to discover that the Department of Home Affairs and I as the minister were not cited as a respondent in that matter.

“This is despite the fact that on the 15th of May 2023, there was an exchange of correspondence between the director-general and the Motloung Inc Attorneys of record for Dr Nandipha Magudumana.

“The attorneys wrote us letters, there was an exchange and they went to court without citing the department, it shocked us.

“The director-general immediately addressed a letter dated the 21st of May 2023 to her attorneys addressing the non-joinder of the department and myself as the minister and demanded that the application be removed from the urgent roll,” Motsoaledi said.

Magudumana and Bester were arrested in Tanzania over a month ago after evading authorities following Bester’s dramatic escape from the Mangaung Correctional Centre in May of the previous year.

Magudumana faces numerous charges, including fraud, violation of a body, corruption, arson, assisting an inmate to escape, and defeating the ends of justice.

She is currently held in custody at the Kroonstad Women’s Center. These charges stem from her alleged involvement in Bester’s escape.

The court hearing on Friday is expected to provide further insight into the controversial circumstances surrounding Magudumana’s deportation and the validity of her arrest in Tanzania.

Follow @SundayWorldZA on Twitter and @sundayworldza on Instagram, or like our Facebook Page, Sunday World, by clicking here for the latest breaking news in South Africa. To Subscribe to Sunday World, click here.

Latest News