South Africa: Justice and Constitutional Development Provides Clarity On Amended Treaty On Extradition With Botswana

| June 30, 2016

Amended Treaty on Extradition to ensure effective cooperation between South Africa and Botswana

The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development would like to clarify misperceptions created by recent media reports regarding the South African government's decision to enter into an Amended Treaty on Extradition with the Republic of Botswana.

The department would like to state unequivocally that the South African government will not extradite or deport a person to a country where the death penalty is a possible sentence.

In terms of the Amended Treaty on Extradition, South Africa will first seek written assurance from Botswana, that a person accused of murder will not be facing the death penalty or execution, prior to any decision around deportation. It must be noted that, in fact, prior to the Amended Treaty, no provision was made for such assurances.

The provisions of the Amendment Treaty are in line with South African Constitutional Court judgements on two prior occasions involving two Botswana nationals, Mr Tsebe and Mr Phale who both faced charges of murder in their country of origin. In both cases, the court ruled against deportation, pending written assurance that the accused would not face capital punishment or execution in Botswana.

The South African government is committed to human rights and has ratified, among others, the UN Declaration of Human Rights, the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights and Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. We wish to affirm the values enshrined in the Constitution of our country and to emphasise that these underpin our approach to continental and international relations.

Source: South African Government

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