No Extradition Request for Khama Yet

  • DPP, DIS believed to differ in opinion
  • Extradition likely to cause diplomatic row between BW and SA


The Government of Botswana has yet to make an extradition request to neighbouring South Africa for former president Ian Khama in relation to his case of illegal possession of firearms and weapons of war, The Botswana Gazette has established.

Khama’s legal representatives say although the government is not obliged to inform them of its extradition process in this matter, they are unaware of any legal proceedings that have been instituted against their high profile client who lives in a self-imposed exile in South Africa.

“We have not received anything with regards to the former president’s extradition,” said Tebogo Tladi of Ramalepa Attorneys in an interview.

“We are unaware of any request that has been made to the South African authorities but also understand that it would be a courtesy if the government informed us. They are not obliged by law to make us aware.”

The CEO of the SKI Khama Foundation, Mogomotsi Kaboyamodimo, has also said nothing of the sort has reached the former president. “There is nothing we have received,” he said briefly.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Relations, Lemogang Kwape, was unavailable for comment as his phone rang unanswered on Tuesday afternoon.
Government sources have told this publication that there is division of opinion among law enforcement agencies and that they have been advised to tread carefully on Khama’s extradition issue.


Potential for diplomatic problems
“This is no simple matter,” said a source close to the developments. “It has the potential to cause diplomatic problems between Botswana and South Africa. I can inform you that the DPP has not even drafted the request.”

It is widely held that Khama is likely to immediately seek political asylum should the government make an extradition request for him. As at 30 December, SA authorities said they had not received any extradition request for Khama.


SADC protocol
Meanwhile, South Africa and Botswana are members of the Southern African Development Community and signatories of the organisation’s extradition protocol which states that each member state agrees to extradite to the other any person within its jurisdiction who is wanted for prosecution.

The protocol also sets out grounds to refuse to extradite, which include the requested state having substantial grounds for believing that the extradition request has been made for the purpose of prosecuting or punishing a person on account of their political opinion.