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SA is not harbouring a fugitive, says Ramaphosa after criminal charges laid against ex-Botswana president Ian Khama

22 April 2022 - 20:53
President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses the media shortly after the fifth session of the SA-Botswana binational commission in Pretoria on Friday.
President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses the media shortly after the fifth session of the SA-Botswana binational commission in Pretoria on Friday.
Image: Amanda Khoza

SA is not harbouring a fugitive.

This was President Cyril Ramaphosa’s response when he was asked whether he and Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi discussed perceptions that SA was harbouring a fugitive after reports that criminal charges had apparently been laid against former Botswana president Ian Khama.

Masisi co-chaired the fifth session of the SA-Botswana binational commission with Ramaphosa in Pretoria on Friday.

Ramaphosa said: “No, we only discussed it to the extent of him informing me that charges have been preferred against the former president here in SA and former president [Ian] Khama is here on a visit, so we are not perceived as harbouring a person who is a fugitive or whatever.”

Ramaphosa said he believes that because of the strong ties shared by the neighbouring countries, they will be able to resolve the matter.

“Our relationship between Botswana and SA are so warm, good and so positive that we will be able to deal with any challenge that comes our way. We are always on the phone together, almost weekly, chatting about all manner of things. We also chat about cattle because we are both cattle farmers,” he said.

According to a Daily Maverick report, Khama faces charges relating to unlawful possession of a firearm. It reported that the sheet against Khama, dated April 19, 2022, seems to indicate that the alleged crime dates back to March 3, 2016.

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