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Mozambique: Manuel Chang’s extradition over ‘hidden debt’ once again halted

By Jeune Afrique
Posted on Friday, 27 August 2021 17:57

Former Mozambican finance minister, Manuel Chang, appears in court in Kempton Park, Johannesburg, South Africa on 16 October 2019. (AP Photo/Phill Magakoe, File)

South Africa's Johannesburg High Court has ordered Justice Minister Ronald Lamola not to extradite Manuel Chang to his home country of Mozambique. It follows from an announcement earlier this week that the former Mozambican finance minister was to be extradited back to Maputo, where he is facing prosecution in a case where 20 politicians are currently on trial for allegedly embezzling $2bn.

This week provided a new judicial twist in the trial of Mozambique’s ‘hidden debt’. Initially, in December 2018, he was arrested in South Africa at the request of the US government. However, in 2019, his extradition was cancelled.

Then this week, on 23 August, at a hearing in Maputo, the South African Department of Justice finally promised to extradite him, but only days later, that was once again reversed after The Mozambique Budget Monitoring Forum (FMO), a group of civil society organisations, reportedly halted the extradition until arguments against it can be heard.