South Africa Decides to Extradite Former Finance Minister to Mozambique Rather than the U.S.

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Friday, May 31, 2019
Bruce Zagaris

On May 21, 2019, the South African Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Michael Masutha announced that his government intended to extradite Mozambique’s former finance minister Manuel Chang to Mozambique rather than the U.S.  In April the Kempton Park Magistrate’s Court ruled that Chang could be extradited to either country, leaving the decision to the South African government. Robert Mearkle, spokesperson for the U.S. embassy in Pretoria, registered on behalf of the U.S. “great disappointment” that South Africa has decided to extradite Chang to Mozambique rather than to the U.S. where he is charged with fraud and other related crimes.  Civil society organizations in Mozambique suspect that Chang will evade charges in Mozambique for alleged complicity in a huge shipping contract scam which has cost Mozambique US $2 billion.  Mearkle said the U.S. embassy is holding discussions with the South African government and exploring options to review the decision.