Justice and Correctional Services Minister Michael Masutha says he has decided to have former Mozambique finance minister Manuel Chang extradited to his home country and not the US.
“I have decided that the accused, Mr Manuel Chang, will be extradited to stand trial for his alleged offences in Mozambique,” Masutha said in a statement on Tuesday.
Masutha’s decision comes after the Kempton Park Magistrate’s Court decision regarding the extraditability of Chang to both the US and Mozambique.
Previously News24 reported that the court ruled Chang be extradited to the US where he is wanted on allegations of conspiracy to commit fraud.
Chang was arrested on December 29 in South Africa. He is also wanted by the US for his alleged involvement in financial crimes totalling $2bn.
Masutha said he noted the request by the US was submitted a few weeks before Mozambique’s.
“However, having considered the matter in its full context, taking into account the criteria contained in both the US-SA Extradition Treaty, on the one hand, and the South African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Extradition, on the other, as well as the relevant facts, I am satisfied that the interest of justice will be best served by acceding to the request by the Republic of Mozambique,” he said.
While making his decision, Masutha said he considered among other things: that the accused is a citizen of Mozambique; that the alleged offence was committed while he was a Minister in Mozambique; the onerous debt for Mozambique as a result of the alleged fraud and the submission made by Chang to be extradited to his home country.