Home Affairs probes deportation of Botswana national

SEPTEMBER 10, 2014

The Department of Home Affairs has launched an investigation into circumstances that led to the deportation of Edwin Samotse, a Botswana national.

Samotse was, until recently, in the custody of the South African authorities. Upon being located in Polokwane, Limpopo, the Botswana government sought his extradition to face murder charges.

“In the matter of Mohammed v President of South Africa and Minister of Home Affairs, both cases relating to Botswana nationals, the courts held that in the absence of such an assurance, the South African government and no official in the employ of government, may not lawfully extradite or deport individuals whose countries still impose the death penalty,” the department said in a statement on Tuesday.

On 13 August 2014, the North Gauteng High Court issued a similar order in the Samotse matter.

However, officials from the Department of Home Affairs, without prior knowledge of the Director-General and without any authority, secured the release of Samotse from the Polokwane Police Station and transported him to the Groblersbrug Port of Entry between South Africa and Botswana, where they handed him over to Botswana officials.

Accordingly, the department condemns these actions as unlawful and unconstitutional.  

In this regard, the department is in contact with the Botswana authorities with a view to resolving the matter.

The department has since launched an investigation into circumstances surrounding Samotse's removal from custody into Botswana. “To this end, the officials involved in the matter have been suspended,” the department said. – SAnews.gov.za