Dr Nandipha Magudumana will, on Friday, return to court to challenge her arrest in Tanzania, alleging that she was forcefully abducted and blindfolded before being taken to the airport, and you can watch the proceedings live below.
UPDATE: Dr Nandipha’s urgent application was postponed to Thursday, 1 June 2023.
WATCH LIVE: Dr Nandipha challenges Tanzania arrest in court
In her application to the high court in Bloemfontein, she seeks to have her arrest and detention declared wrongful and unlawful. Magudumana has been in custody since her arrest in Tanzania, in April 2023, along with her boyfriend Thabo Bester, a convicted rapist and murderer who had escaped from prison.
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Here’s why Magudumana believes she was ‘abducted’
In her court papers, Magudumana claims that she is presently being illegally detained at the Bizzah Makhate Correctional Centre in Kroonstad.
The allegations against her involve assisting Bester in his escape from the Mangaung correctional facility following a staged suicide in May 2022.
Her urgent application will be heard on Friday, with the Free State director of public prosecutions, the minister of police, Captain Tieho Flyman, the presiding magistrate for the criminal case, and the head of the Bizzah Makhate Correctional Centre cited as respondents in her papers.
Adding to the complexity of the case, Minister of Home Affairs Dr Aaron Motsoaledi announced that his department intends to join the proceedings as an interested party.
He refuted claims that Magudumana and Bester were unlawfully “abducted” or “extradited” from Tanzania, stating that they were declared prohibited immigrants under Tanzania’s immigration laws and were therefore liable to be deported to their country of origin.
Motsoaledi emphasised that the same procedure was followed for a Mozambican national who was with them.
Magudumana argues in her affidavit that Tanzania is a sovereign African country and that the police minister and his employees lack jurisdiction or authority to arrest individuals there, except when properly authorised by the Tanzanian authorities.
She details the events following her arrest, alleging that she was blindfolded and taken to the airport in Tanzania by members of the South African Police Service, where she was met by two other SAPS members.
From there, she claims they flew to South Africa, landing at Lanseria airport before proceeding to the Bloemfontein magistrate’s court for her first appearance.
Magudumana argues that the state’s involvement in her cross-border abduction tarnishes the court proceedings. She insists that the police minister’s servants had no jurisdiction or authority to arrest and transport her to South Africa for charges.
She asserts that she has not appeared before any court in Tanzania and has not been found to be an illegal immigrant or deported by a Tanzanian court to South Africa.
Moreover, Magudumana contends that the police did not possess a court order authorizing her transportation from Tanzania to South Africa, nor was there a warrant for her arrest.
She asserts that executing a warrant issued by a South African court within South Africa would not rectify the situation. She argues that the flaws lie in her arrest and removal from Tanzania.
Among her requests, Magudumana seeks to nullify and set aside the criminal proceedings before the Bloemfontein magistrate’s court. Additionally, she seeks a declaration entitling her to be released from prison. The court will hear her case and assess the merits of her claims.