After fighting his extradition to Malawi for seven years, businessperson Misozi Chanthunya has finally given in and will be extradited to his home country to go on trial for the alleged murder of his pregnant girlfriend.
Chanthunya, who ran a foreign exchange bureau, fled to South Africa within days of Linda Gassa’s body being found buried under the freshly cemented floor of his family cottage in Monkey Bay in southern Malawi.
He was arrested after Interpol located him in South Africa in 2012.
According to evidence placed before the North West High Court, Gassa was allegedly stabbed repeatedly after an argument with Chanthunya, who wanted her to terminate her pregnancy.
After the Malawian government applied for his extradition, a Rustenburg magistrate ruled in 2012 that he was extraditable.
He challenged the ruling in the North West High Court in Mafikeng, arguing that as capital punishment remained on Malawi’s statute book, there was a real possibility he could face the death penalty if he was convicted.
Chanthunya claimed the assurance given by late president Bingu wa Mutharika that he would not be executed was not sufficient.
The North West High Court dismissed his appeal in 2013, ruling that the justice minister must decide if the undertaking was sufficient.
Justice Minister Michael Masutha signed an order requiring his surrender to Malawi in 2014.
Chanthunya then requested reasons for the decision and in 2016 launched an application in the High Court in Pretoria to overturn the order, claiming an undertaking by the current president of Malawi that he would not be executed was also not sufficient.
He abandoned his latest application this week.
Chanthunya said in court papers he would deny murdering Gassa.
He alleged Malawian authorities wanted to get rid of him and so had conspired to falsely implicate him in the murder because he was aligned with the opposition political party, was accused of funding the opposition and had won a huge civil claim for defamation and unlawful imprisonment against Malawi’s attorney general.