Dr Nandipha Magudumana gets top international advocate to declare her arrest unlawful

Close up picture of Dr Nandipha Magugumana wear black, with braids and bright red lipstick, in court.

On May 11 Nandipha Magudumana along with five others appear in the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court for their alleged role in the Thabo Bester escape saga. Magudumana’s defence told the court they will not continue with the bail application for her today as there was missing information crucial for her defence. Her application was postponed to next week. Picture: Timothy Bernard African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jun 1, 2023


Johannesburg - South Africans have expressed mixed feelings about Dr Nandipha Magudumana's legal team, which is led by international law advocate Anton Katz SC, in her urgent application to declare her arrest unlawful.

The urgent application is taking place at the Free State High Court. Magudumana has applied for her charges to be withdrawn; she claimed that she was held against her will in Tanzania, where she was arrested with her partner, convicted killer and rapist Thabo Bester, in April this year.

In her affidavit, she says South African authorities flouted the law by disguising yet another deportation.

Katz argued that the South African authorities were outside of the ambit of the law in the way they arrested Magudumana.

The legal team touched a bit on the difference between deportation and extradition, also looking at what the function of a high commissioner's diplomatic mission is in another country, and various immigration laws.

Katz said the manner in which Magudumana was arrested was a disguised extradition.

This argument seems to imply that a person should give consent before they are deported; however, the state said the accused was declared by the host country, Tanzania, to be unlawfully in the country.

Katz said that the eight-member delegation that went to Tanzania on April 9 was deliberating on the deportation of Magudumana and Bester. He said they were only there to identify the people, but that was not the case because the pair were then deported back to South Africa.

"This was not a deportation; it was actually a disguised unlawful extradition," said Katz.

Bester escaped from the Mangaung Correctional Facility in May last year. It has emerged that he was aided in his escape, and Magudumana is one of the suspects nabbed for assisting Bester.

He was a fugitive and was captured in Arusha in the company of Magudumana and a Mozambican national.

The suspects were subsequently deported to South Africa in a mission conducted by South African authorities, including the SAPS and Home Affairs.

Flying the pair back to South Africa cost the state about R1.4 million.

Twitter user Man’s NOT Barry Roux wrote: "Dr Nandipha decided to bring Anton Katz SC, a top international law advocate. Nandi is not taking chances".

Another user, Makulu Baas, wrote: “Even Jesus himself will wash his hands from this case. These lawyers just wanna chow her money.”

Another user, ThisIsColbert, wrote: “Rich people can afford good lawyers, prolonged court battles and appeals, which does somewhat increase their chances of beating the charges. Good luck, Dr Nandipha Magudumana.”

The matter continues.

The Star