Kgosi Kgafela Kgafela, the paramount chief of Bakgatla, faces possible arrest in South Africa following a request by Botswana’s Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) for his extradition to Botswana to face trial for assault.
The extradition request has been confirmed by Bruno Paledi of the Botswana Police Service and could mean Kgafela spending time in a prison cell in Mafikeng.
“We have made a request and submitted all the necessary documents to DPP who will act on our behalf to extradited Kgafela II,” said Paledi who is also the deputy commissioner.
According to reliable information passed to this paper, prosecutors working on the matter have finally submitted extradition documents to the South Africa’s ministry of Justice.
However, Paledi declined to verify the report.
“At this juncture I would not want to confirm or deny whether DPP has already submitted the extradition documents to the South African authority because DPP have not yet communicated anything so far,” he said.
Kgafela is expected to be arrested after minister of Justice in South Africa, Jeff Radebe, has signed the extradition documents.
This paper has been reliably informed that the Bakgatla leader stays around the Mafikeng area.
In a separate interview, one local lawyer who opted to be anonymous said, “It would be unfortunate if Kgafela was arrested and detained in South Africa.”
The lawyer added: “Once he has been arrested, he will appear before the South African court so that he can be extradited legally to Botswana. In most cases the process takes time because of the court appearance.”
While extradition normally entails countries assisting each other in criminal matters, it is also important in protecting the rights of fugitives, especially in political trials. Kgafela II has maintained that his trial is politically motivated. It remains to be seen whether he will challenge his extradition to Botswana as a political witch-hunt.