The much-anticipated judgment in Nandipha Magudumana’s application for leave to appeal her arrest in Tanzania is set to be handed down on Tuesday.
The appeal was heard at the Bloemfontein High Court on Friday, where compelling arguments were presented by the parties involved including the Department of Home Affairs.
Magudumana previously chose to abandon bail in order to contest the legality of her deportation from the Republic of Tanzania. Alongside Bester, she was apprehended while attempting to flee the country.
Arguing that her deportation on April 13 was unlawful, Magudumana approached the high court arguing that consent cannot be given to unconstitutional and illegal conduct.
During the proceedings on Friday, her representative, advocate Kessler Perumalsamy, asserted that the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) would arrive at a different conclusion regarding her alleged consent to being brought back to her country of origin.
He posed several questions including the circumstances and recipients of the consent, emphasizing the need to clarify whether the constitution permits consent to unconstitutional conduct.
Perumalsamy highlighted that the judgment labelling Magudumana’s return as a disguised extradition instead of deportation, as authorities had claimed, constituted unconstitutional conduct.
“We submit there are reasonable prospects of success at the SCA,” asserted Perumalsamy, indicating confidence in the appeal process.
Contrary to this stance, advocate Neil Snellenburg SC, representing the police and the National Prosecuting Authority, argued that the application lacked reasonable prospects of success.
Snellenburg pointed out that Magudumana had not willingly disclosed her activities in Tanzania, highlighting her shift away from claiming abduction and her desire to return to her children.
He emphasized that the law often hinges on logic, and asserted that the facts of the case were clear: Magudumana wanted to come home and did so.
Advocate Louis Pohl SC, representing Home Affairs, expressed a willingness to abide by the court’s decision, refraining from taking a position on the matter.
He said they would abide by whatever the court ordered.