SA illegally rendered man to Pakistan

South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal has declared that the detention of Pakistani national Khalid Rashid at a Pretoria police station and his subsequent deportation to Pakistan were unlawful.
Local media reports the judgment set aside the decision of the full bench of the Pretoria High Court in February 2007, which dismissed an application by Lenasia businessman Ismail Jeebhai, who wanted the high court to declare that Rashid`s arrest, detention and deportation were unlawful.
Business Day reports that although Rashid had been released from the custody of Pakistani authorities in December 2007, the disputed questions about the propriety of government conduct were still an issue.
The paper reports that on October 31 2005, a senior immigration officer and several police officers descended on Jeebhai`s home in Estcourt and found Rashid on the premises.
He was taken to Cullinan police station and was later handed over to Pakistani law enforcement officials at Waterkloof Air Force Base in Pretoria, from where he was flown to Pakistan and held in custody.
Appellate Judge Azhar Cachalia, with appeal court president Lex Mpati concurring, said although Rashid was an illegal foreigner, the Department of Home Affairs had disregarded formalities required by the Immigration Act.
He found that Rashid was detained and removed from the police station without a warrant and was not deported from a port of entry that the minister had designated for that purpose.
“The fact that Rashid was detained at the Cullinan police station without a warrant and then removed from this facility, also without a warrant, means that both his detention there and his deportation were unlawful,” Cachalia said.
The SA Press Association adds that the facts before the court showed Rashid had entered the country in 2005 and had fraudulently obtained documents authorising his stay.

As an illegal foreigner he was therefore liable to arrest.

The Bloemfontein court rejected two arguments by Jeebhai’s legal representatives. The first was that Rashid’s deportation was a disguised extradition and the second that his deportation was a crime against humanity.

The court held that in both instances the evidence placed before the court did not support these contentions.