Cape Town – The partner of convicted murderer and rapist Thabo Bester, Nandipha Magudumana, who claims to have been abducted from Tanzania, has a potentially strong legal case, according to immigration lawyer Gary Eisenberg.
Magudumana on Friday filed an urgent application with the Free State High Court to challenge the legality of her arrest and subsequent deportation to South Africa.
She was apprehended on April 7, 2023, alongside Bester, who had previously escaped from the Mangaung Correctional Centre in Bloemfontein.
Magudumana, who now faces charges of aiding and abetting a convicted criminal, seeks to have her arrest declared unlawful, the criminal charges against her nullified, and an immediate release from custody.
However, Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi contends that all procedures were followed correctly and wishes to be included as a respondent in the case.
On Dr Magudumana’s court application, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi says, “#DrNandiphaMagudumana and #ThaboBester were declared prohibited immigrants in terms of the immigration laws of Tanzania and were therefore, as a matter of law, liable to be deported back to the country of origin.” pic.twitter.com/erH5myKcp6
— Newzroom Afrika (@Newzroom405) May 22, 2023
He said that both Magudumana and Bester were declared prohibited immigrants by Tanzanian authorities and were, thus, deported back to their home country.
But speaking during an interview with eNCA, Eisenberg said: “What she says in terms very simply is that, with or without the concerted cooperation between South Africa and Tanzanian authorities, she was arrested by the South African police authority in Tanzania and she was driven to the airport, put on the plane and abducted.
“That is her case, and she says that abduction is unlawful and that she is unlawfully before the court.
“Now if those are the facts, and it’s only her side of the story. I haven’t read the answering papers of the respondents.
“I don’t know what the minister is going to say in his joiner application, he wants to join the application as a respondent, because he says he has a vested interest in the outcome of the proceedings.
“But if these are the facts, then an abduction is unlawful. And that’s all there is to it.
“And if those are the facts that the court accepts as the matrix of facts in the matter that are uncontested, she is unlawfully before the court and the court has no jurisdiction to try her.”
The case is scheduled to be heard by the high court in Bloemfontein on May 25th.
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Compiled by Betha Madhomu