Extradition requests from the US and Mozambique for the latter's former finance minister Manuel Chang will be dealt with separately in a South African court. Picture: Nhlanhla Phillips/African News Agency/ANA

Johannesburg - Extradition requests from the US and Mozambique for the latter's former finance minister Manuel Chang will be dealt with separately in a South African court.

Chang appeared in the Kempton Park Magistrate's Court on Thursday where his application to have the two requests heard separately was turned down.

Chang's advocate, Willie Vermeunen, had argued that both extradition requests should be heard at the same time.

"Both should be dealt with their own merits," Vermeunen said.

However, State prosecutor JJ Du Toit argued differently saying the two cases should be separated.

"The US extradition application should proceed," Du Toit said.

A warrant of arrest from Mozambique was cancelled and the matter continued under the same case number that was initiated after the US issued a warrant of arrest for Chang in December to answer to allegations that he committed wire and securities fraud and also conspiracy to commit money laundering between 2005 and 2015.

At his previous court appearance, Chang heard that the US application to have him extradited has been provisionally withdrawn due to a concurrent request by his home country.

According to reports, the charges against Chang relate to $2 billion (R27.8bn) in loans guaranteed by the Mozambican government signed off by Chang during his term of office. 

Chang was detained at OR Tambo International Airport on December 29.

African News Agency (ANA)