Court declines Bushiris’ application to have their extradition case in SA dismissed

By Chisomo Phiri

The Lilongwe Chief Resident Magistrate’s Court has declined the application made by Shepherd Bushiri and his wife, Mary, to have their extradition case in South Africa dismissed.

The Bushiris appeared in court on Monday to await the verdict on their request for the complete dismissal of South Africa’s extradition request.

However, Chief Resident Magistrate Madalitso Chimwaza ruled that the application was premature, given that no documentary evidence had yet been presented in court.

The court concurred with the Bushiris in their argument that the documents South African authorities sought to use as evidence had not been properly authenticated, and thus, might not be admissible.

Speaking with local media, Dzikondianthu Malunda, the State advocate, disclosed that the state intends to call a single witness, Sibongire Mzinyathi, who serves as the Director of Public Prosecutions for the Gauteng province in South Africa.

“The Court has ruled in our favour and we are happy. We hope the case will continue without disruptions and that it will be determined on merits,” said Malunda.

On the other hand, Wapona Kita, the lawyer representing the Bushiris, expressed satisfaction that the court had upheld the defense’s primary objection regarding the admissibility of the documents presented in court.

“We are very happy that the Magistrate has agreed with us on documents that were tendered in the court that they cannot be used as evidence because it is premature at this stage,” Kitta said.

Meanwhile, the court has adjourned the case until October 10, 2023, at which time the state is expected to present a witness.

The Bushiris, who returned to Malawi in November 2020, are wanted in South Africa to answer criminal charges bordering on fraud and money laundering.