South African Department of Home Affairs looks into deportation of Botswana national
Reported today by the South African government’s news agency the South African Department of Home Affairs will be investigating the recent deportation of a Botswana national Edwin Samotse.
Samotse, who is being sought by the Botswana government on murder charges, was found in Polokwane where he was kept in the custody of the South African authorities, awaiting extradition to Botswana.
But on 13 August this year the North Gauteng High Court issued a statement that Samotse could not be extradited saying in this statement that, “In the matter of Mohammed v President of South Africa and Minister of Home Affairs, both cases relating to Botswana nationals, the courts held that in the absence of such an assurance, the South African government and no official in the employ of government, may not lawfully extradite or deport individuals whose countries still impose the death penalty.” This statement was echoed by the South Africa Department of Home Affairs in a statement releases on 9 September 2014.
However, officials from the Department of Home Affairs, without prior knowledge of the Director-General and without any authority, secured the release of Samotse from the Polokwane Police Station and transported him to the Groblersbrug Port of Entry between South Africa and Botswana, where they handed him over to Botswana officials.
The Department of Home Affairs have since condemns these actions as unlawful and unconstitutional and have been in contact with the Botswana authorities with a view to resolving the matter.
According to sanews.gov.za the department has since launched an investigation into circumstances surrounding Samotse's removal from custody into Botswana. “To this end, the officials involved in the matter have been suspended,” the department said.