Malawi’s former president the late Bingu wa Mutharika assured South African authorities that murder suspect Misozi Chanthunya would not face the death penalty if he were extradited to Malawi, a court ruling on Chanthunya’s extradition has revealed.
The ruling, made by the South African North West High Court in Mafikeng, also shows that although the court threw out the appeal case, according to that country’s laws, the final decision on the extradition rests with South Africa’s Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development.
However, in the ruling made on Monday, presiding judge Anna Kgoele did not specify the period within which the concerned minister has to decide to extradite Chanthunya.
“Paragraph 12 on page 5 of exhibit F gives an assurance that capital punishment will not befall the appellant if convicted. It goes further by also giving South Africa a written undertaking by the then President of the Republic of Malawi on behalf of that Country,” reads part of the ruling in the case number 4 of 2013.
Chanthunya was arrested in January last year by the International Police (Interpol) in Rustenburg, South Africa where he had been allegedly hiding after being on the run for more than one year.
Attorney General Anthony Kamanga has since said that Malawi was happy with the ruling and that government will now move to work with its South African counterparts to have Chanthunya brought back home.