Court Rejects The Bushiris' Application to Dismiss Extradition Case
The Lilongwe Chief Resident Magistrate’s Court Monday rejected an application by Prophet Shepherd Bushiri and his wife Mary to dismiss entirely their extradition request by South Africa, and described it as premature and without evidence.
The Bushiris through their lawyer Wapona Kita moved the court to dismiss the extradition case, accusing the South African government of using uncertified documents in court.
In her ruling, the Chief Resident Magistrate Madalitso Chimwza agreed with the Bushiris that the documents used by South Africa government were not certified, but dismissed the application on the basis that the documents have not yet been presented in court as evidence.
Said Chimwaza; “The court agrees with you that the said documents were not duly certified in line with the law. However, your application is premature because the said documents were presented as mere disclosures and not evidence.”
“If you had waited for the documents to be presented in court, then your application would hold because the issue of whether the documents are admissible or not, arises when the documents are tendered as evidence.”
The Chief Resident Magistrate also clarified that the court was not making a decision on whether the two are guilty or not, rather handling the request to surrender the Bushiris to South Africa to face trial.
State prosecutor Dzikondianthu Malunda told us after the court, that he hopes there would be no further disruptions after.
Said Malunda; “We are happy with the court ruling, and we are glad that there will be progress on this matter, and we hope that there will be no further disruptions”.
Lawyer representing the Bushiris Wapona Kita said not all hope was lost, and believes the court will dismiss the request when the “uncertified” documents are tendered as evidence.
“The court has agreed with us on the principal objection that we are raising, however, she has said that perhaps it is premature at this stage because the witness has not tendered the documents as part of evidence.
“So she has set a date when the witness comes and tenders those documents, then she will dismiss the case.”
The court adjourned the matter to October 10, when South African witnesses will testify. The matter will be heard again on October 10, 2023 when the witness from South Africa will testify.
The Bushiris are wanted in South Africa, where they bolted in November 2020, on criminal charges. Through the government of Malawi, the South African authorities asked the court to extradite the two, but this is being challenged in court.