21 June 2022
The Ministry of Justice and Correctional Services has closely followed media reports and a statement by the Namibian Police Force concerning a request for mutual legal assistance in respect of a suspect by the name of David Imanuwela.
At the outset, it should be noted that the established procedures for serving requests for mutual legal assistance are as follows -
Service Process 1
The requesting State submits the request at the South African Embassy or High Commission in that particular State.
The South African Embassy or High Commission would then submit the request to the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (“DIRCO”). DIRCO then provides a proof of receipt and then transmits the request to the Central Authority, being the Director-General of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development.
Service Process 2
Alternatively, the requesting State can serve the request for mutual legal assistance via its Embassy or High Commission in the State from which it seeks information or assistance. The requesting States Embassy or High Commission will serve the request on DIRCO. DIRCO then provides proof of receipt and transmits the request to the Central Authority.
When reference is made to diplomatic channels, these are the processes that are being referred to.
We can confirm that, to date, all requests for mutual legal assistance have followed these processes without any complications between the two states Namibia and South Africa.
We can categorically state that, to date, there is no official record of this specific request.
South Africa and its Sister Republic Namibia continue to work together in a collaborative manner on issues of mutual legal assistance in accordance with the Southern African Development Community Protocol and other related bilateral treaties. So far there has not been any development that necessitates any change of approach when dealing with matters of this nature.
Issued by the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services
Mr Chrispin Phiri
Spokesperson: Ministry of Justice and Correctional Services
081 781 2261