A SOUTH African court Monday morning ruled that wanted fugitive Misozi Chanthunya should be extradited to Malawi to answer murder charges.
However, Chanthunya has immediately said he would appeal against the ruling, throwing a fresh obstacle in the long running battle to bring him to justice.
The Blantyre-based businessman is wanted by the state to answer criminal charges related to the gruesome killing of his Zimbabwean girlfriend Linda Gasa, whose dead body was dug out inside a room at Chanthunya's Cottage in Mangochi.
Ministry of Justice Spokesperson Apoche Itimu confirmed the development saying the court found that Chanthunya has no grounds to halt his extradition as requested by Malawi.
"Yes there was a ruling in the morning which our officers attended. The judge decided to order the going ahead of the extradition. However, we are yet to see what will happen as he (Chanthunya) has said he will appeal against the extradition. Legally he is entitled to this appeal so we don't know whether he will indeed appeal or not," said Itimu.
N a t i o n a l P o l i c e Spokesperson Davie Chingwalu said he was yet to receive information on the ruling from Interpol.
"I have also just heard about the ruling but I am yet to get official communication from Interpol. Normally in such cases, it's Interpol which communicates with us. If the ruling favours us, then we are supposed to go and pick him or the South African police will get him here and pass him on to us at the airport," Chingwalu said.
Chanthunya fled the country soon after the disappearance of Gasa and was on the run for months, hiding in foreign countries until police, acting on a tip captured him in South Africa.
The murder trial against Chanthunya started in his absence as questions continue on how he escaped.