Johannesburg - The home affairs department has denied claims that Czech businessman Radovan Krejcir entered the country illegally.
Krejcir entered South Africa on a Seychelles passport on a visitor's permit, director general Mkuseli Apleni said in a statement on Friday.
“While in the country, he applied for an asylum seeker's permit and... we do not have a right to just simply say we do not want to consider your case,” he said.
“We are considering his case which is with the Refugee Appeals Board. Once the decision is taken, it can either say you are granted a refugee status or you are declined and then you will be deported.
“But it does not mean that when you come with a visitor's permit you must engage in illegal activities like crime.
“Once you do that we will deal with you as we are dealing with a South African. Because when I commit a crime as a South African, I am subjected to the laws of the country,” Apleni said.
The statement is a transcript of a media briefing Apleni held in Pretoria on Thursday.
Krejcir arrived in South Africa in 2007 and was detained for a month after allegedly using a forged passport.
Krejcir's associates Uwe Gemballa and Teazers strip club owner Lolly Jackson, with whom he was allegedly involved in a money-laundering operation, were both killed in 2010.
In March 2011, Krejcir's security consultant Cyril Beeka was killed in a drive-by shooting. A hit-list, allegedly found in Krejcir's home, contained names including Beeka and security consultant Paul O'Sullivan.
In October this year, Bassam Issa, reportedly also an associate of Krejcir's, was shot dead in Bedfordview, Johannesburg. In November a Serbian man, Veselin Langanin, who was arrested with Krejcir for armed robbery, was shot dead in his Bedfordview home.
In October 2012 the armed robbery charges against Krejcir were withdrawn. In his home country in December last year, Krejcir was sentenced in absentia to 11 years in jail for money-laundering.
Also last year, Krejcir was arrested for fraud related to a R4.5 million insurance claim, allegedly made using medical papers stating he had bladder cancer. The charges were withdrawn.
This year Krejcir survived a number of alleged attempts on his life. In July his car was shot at seconds after he got out of it, in the parking lot of his Money Point gold and diamond exchange business in Bedfordview. His former employee Brendan Harrison was arrested for allegedly plotting to kill him. On November 12, two people were killed in a bomb blast at the same premises.
His extradition hearing is set to resume on December 6. - Sapa