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Dr Nandipha Magudumana suffers another legal blow as court declares her arrest was not unlawful

Dr Nandipha Magudumana. File Picture: Timothy Bernard African News Agency (ANA)

Dr Nandipha Magudumana. File Picture: Timothy Bernard African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jul 18, 2023


Dr Nandipha Magudumana’s second request for an urgent application to declare her arrest in Tanzania unlawful has been dismissed.

The High Court in Bloemfontein handed the judgment on her application for leave to appeal on Tuesday.

Magudumana’s first application was dismissed in June 2023 after Judge Phillip Loubser said Magudumana willingly accepted her transportation back to South Africa.

“She consented to her removal because she wanted to be with her children,” Loubser said at the time.

Magudumana was arrested in Arusha, Tanzania, with her boyfriend, convicted killer and rapist Thabo Bester, in April 2023.

Bester escaped from the Mangaung Correctional Facility in May 2022 after faking his death.

On Tuesday, Judge Loubser said he was not persuaded that another court will come to a different conclusion.

“There are no other compelling reasons that the matter should proceed on appeal...The application is therefore dismissed with costs,” he said.

In his previous judgment, Judge Loubser referred to a case law which, determined by the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCL), which held that there was no violation of a person's fundamental human rights or international law if they consent to be transported from a foreign jurisdiction for criminal investigation.

On the second judgment, Loubster added more case laws to strengthen his decision and said those case laws have never been overruled and they still stand.

“She wanted to return to South Africa to her children, this was the true nature of her consent, and in my view, the other cases referred to are therefore distinguishable from the present case.

“...the applicant contends that the SCL should be allowed to consider whether a person may or may not consent to unlawful unconstitutional act, I respectfully disagree,” he said.

Magudumana has been charged with fraud, defeating the ends of justice, violating a body, and aiding and abetting an inmate to escape from lawful custody, corruption and arson.

Twelve people have been arrested in connection with Bester’s escape, including Bester himself.