Alleged spy wins court fight
VALENTINO Chan, the South Sudanese man seeking refuge in South Africa, can remain in a safe house allocated to him.
Minister of Defence Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula sought to have him removed from the safe house – a decision recently overturned by the high court in Pretoria.
“The minister will abide by the court ruling,” her spokesperson Joy Peter said.
Mapisa-Nqakula had applied to have a previous ruling overturned after the court had instructed the ministry to continue accommodating Chan in the safe house he had previously been locked out of.
Chan filed court documents in December in which he alleged that he had been living peacefully in the West Park, Pretoria, apartment since April last year.
Chan has made consistent claims since August 2015 that he was employed by the South Sudan Embassy in South Africa to spy on Dr Riek Machar, the former president of South Sudan and current rebel leader who has sought asylum in South Africa.
The South Sudan Embassy has denied these claims.
“On or about July 22 at the South Sudan Embassy, Pretoria, I was given a sensitive and secret assignment by the embassy to gather information about Dr Riek,” Chan said in his court documents.
Chan began living on the lawn right outside the embassy’s gates after he claimed his mission was compromised, refusing to move until he had been paid for the work he had done and for his name to be cleared as the apparent cause of the failed mission.
In April last year, through negotiations with the authorities, Chan was given accommodation, where he lived until November 30.
He said he was kicked out when the locks were changed without his knowledge.
The court ruled that Chan must be allowed back onto the property and that the respondents be interdicted from unlawfully interfering with his occupation of the property.
South Sudanese man can now stay in safe house