Home Affairs fights on in battle to deport Congolese 'prophet'
The Department of Home Affairs is fighting to keep self-proclaimed prophet Paul Joseph Mukungubila out of South Africa.
Responding on Tuesday to news reports that the Congolese pastor had obtained asylum‚ Home Affairs said it was appealing against a decision by the High Court in Johannesburg to allow Mukungubila to apply for asylum.
According to reports‚ Mukungubila first arrived in South Africa from the Democratic Republic of Congo in March 2014 after allegedly orchestrating a spate of attacks in December 2013 on the airport and the main army headquarters in Kinshasa‚ the capital.
In a statement‚ Home Affairs said Mukungubila had applied for asylum but his application was rejected after the Minister of Justice issued a notification for the pastor to be extradited to stand trial in his homeland.
“The DRC had made allegations of gross human rights violations against Mukungubila and‚ as a consequence‚ requested Interpol to facilitate his extradition to the DRC‚” the statement read.
But in March the High Court ruled that the department should allow Mukungubila to apply for asylum and halt extradition proceedings “pending finalisation of his asylum application”.
The department filed for leave to appeal at the Supreme Court.
“This application (for leave to appeal) has the effect of staying the judgment of the High Court‚ pending its finalisation. In essence‚ this means that Paul Joseph Mukungubila‚ a DRC national‚ does not have status in South Africa.”
According to the department‚ Mukungubila claimed he was regarded by the followers of his faith as a “man of God who possesses revelatory powers about the future of the nation”.
His organisation‚ the Ministry for the Restoration from Black Africa‚ is said to consist of 1‚200 members in the DRC.
He is also is wanted for questioning “about violence that left more than 100 people dead”.
In a Business Day report‚ Mukungubila's spokesman Charlie Mingiedi said the pastor had been awarded asylum in South Africa on March 30.
“There is no return to [Congo] but he will continue to mobilise the Congolese people against the dictatorship ruling the country‚” his spokesman said.