Magudumana remains in jail after dismissal of urgent application

The Free State High Court in Bloemfontein has dismissed the urgent application filed by Dr Nandipha Magudumana, who sought to declare her arrest in Tanzania illegal.

Magudumana was detained in Arusha in April along with her partner, the convicted murderer and rapist Thabo Bester. 

Recently her legal representative, advocate Anton Katz, argued that her arrest was falsely presented as an illegal extradition, suggesting collusion between South African and Tanzanian officials.

However, the court ruled that Magudumana agreed to return to South Africa after being apprehended in Tanzania because she wanted to be reunited with her children.

Delivering his judgment, presiding judge Phillip Loubser stated that Magudumana’s application had not met the requirements for urgency. 

Nevertheless, he said he decided to hear the application urgently due to the existence of a factual dispute concerning Magudumana’s arrest and the circumstances surrounding her transportation back to the country.

Loubser struck out certain statements made by Magudumana in the application, including references to consulting a lawyer in Tanzania, as they were not included in her founding affidavit.

Loubser emphasized that the key question was whether there was evidence of collusion between South Africa and Tanzania to surrender Magudumana to her country of origin.

He highlighted the existence of a Southern African Development Community protocol that guides such matters.

The court accepted that the decision to deport her was made by Tanzanian authorities in accordance with international law.

Furthermore, Loubser noted that the respondents willingly participated in the handing over event at the airport in Tanzania, unaware that it was extradition rather than deportation.

He pointed out that Magudumana was aware of the charges she would face at the time of her handover, and had nevertheless consented to her return to South Africa.

Consequently, the high court dismissed Magudumana’s challenge to her arrest, detention, and trial, ordering her to bear the costs of the application.

“It is clear that the respondents willingly participated in the handing over event at the airport in Tanzania believing it was done so in terms of international law,” said Loubser.

They did not realise it was an extradition and not a deportation. The applicant was aware at the time of her handing over of the charges she would face. She nevertheless consented. Based on that, the application is dismissed.

“If the applicant wants to challenge her deportation from Tanzania, she is free to do so with the Tanzanian authorities, as this court does not have the jurisdiction to do so.”

The ruling affirms that Magudumana’s arrest in Tanzania was lawful and upholds the decision of Tanzanian authorities to deport her.

It is still unclear if she would be contesting the verdict of her application.


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