SA to hand over former Mozambique minister in time for major corruption trial
South Africa is to repatriate a former Mozambican finance minister to his home country after he spent more than two years in a jail in Benoni, Gauteng.
Manuel Chang faces charges linked to Mozambique’s largest-ever corruption scandal, the so-called "tuna bonds" affair.
The 18 accused in the high-profile trial include the son of former president President Armando Guebuza.
The charges include blackmail, embezzlement and money laundering.
Bruce Whitfield interviews Dianna Games, CEO of business consultancy Africa @ Work.
Games says it's been a very long and complex story which speaks to what we are seeing at home in South Africa.
This is a former minister in the government of Mozambique and he is accused of receiving $17 million in bribes to sign off on $2 billion in secret loans from Credit Suisse and a big Russian bank to the Mozambique government, to buy fishing trawlers and military patrol vessels. This goes back to 2013.Dianna Games, CEO - Africa @ Work
The US issued a warrant for his arrest and he was arrested in South Africa, that was in late 2018. He's been in jail here ever since then while South Africa was deciding whether to extradite him to the US as they have requested, or back to Mozambique as they have requested.Dianna Games, CEO - Africa @ Work
So we've been in the middle of this, going back and forth. South Africa didn't want to send him back to Mozambique because he had immunity from prosecution as a former minister and hadn't even been charged with anything, whereas the US had charged him and had a corruption case against him.Dianna Games, CEO - Africa @ Work
Games says Mozambique brought a High Court order in South Africa to release Chang "because he's been sitting in jail here for such a long time while nobody could make up their minds.
As I say, we face similar issues here with our corruption. Chang is still a senior member of the ruling party in Mozambique; he's a former minister and a well-connected official.Dianna Games, CEO - Africa @ Work
There are already people speculating that because he's been in jail in South Africa they haven't formulated a big investigation him and the chances are he'll get off without much difficulty once he gets back to Mozambique, so it's all about the political protection, potentially.Dianna Games, CEO - Africa @ Work
For more detail listen to The Money Show's Africa Business Focus (Mozambique discussion at 5:45):
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