Cape Town - The Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC) has filed an application requesting the Western Cape High Court to cancel the visa of a convicted arms trafficker and war criminal from the Netherlands.
Despite having been convicted in absentia by a Dutch court in April 2017 and subsequently failing in his June 2017 appeal to have the order of provisional imprisonment terminated or suspended, Augustinus Petrus Maria Kouwenhoven, better known as Guus Kouwenhoven, has been living in Cape Town’s Bantry Bay since 2016.
Kouwenhoven was convicted in Holland of arms trafficking in Liberia during the presidency of Charles Taylor and SALC’s director Kaajal Ramjathan-Keogh said, “As an individual who has been convicted of being complicit in war crimes as well as being a fugitive from justice, Kouwenhoven cannot remain free in South Africa”.
Ramjathan-Keogh said: “The South African authorities arrested him in 2017 but he successfully applied for release on bail. His arrest in South Africa is a significant step to hold accountable those who fuelled and profited from Liberia’s bloody civil war. Though the Netherlands has requested his extradition, the proceedings have been repeatedly postponed at the behest of and to the benefit of Kouwenhoven.”
SALC said it was concerned that the Home Affairs, despite being aware of this case for more than two years, has failed to take steps to cancel his visa.