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Lamola: Masutha’s decision to extradite Mozambique’s Chang doesn’t mean he erred

Instead, the department said Masutha could have arrived at a different decision if he had the information that is now available.

Former Mozambican finance minister Manuel Chang. Picture: United Nations Photo

JOHANNESBURG - The Justice Department on Saturday said its application to review former Minister Michael Masutha’s decision to extradite Mozambique’s Manuel Chang does not mean he made a mistake.

Instead, the department said Masutha could have arrived at a different decision if he had the information that is now available.

It's been found the former finance minister of Mozambique had immunity when the extradition process against him was started.

Director-general Vusi Madonsela filed an application at the Kempton Park Magistrates Court to review Masutha’s decision.

The department said Chang wanted Minister Ronald Lamola to fast track sending him to Mozambique, following Masutha’s decision to extradite him in May.

But Lamola said extraditing Chang could violate the country’s Constitution, the Extradition Act and Southern African Development Community protocol.

Lamola’s spokesperson Chrispin Phiri said overturning Masutha’s decision doesn’t mean he erred.

“Had the facts been before Minister Masutha, he might have arrived at a different decision not to extradite. So, the effect of the new facts renders that decision possibly not legally enforceable.”

Chang remains in custody until the Kempton Park Magistrates Court has reached a decision based on the new information.

It includes the possibility Chang couldn't be charged because when the process began, he still had immunity.

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