Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir is making maximum use of South Africa’s constitutional freedoms — and his expensive lawyers — to gather material for his pending application to be granted asylum as a “political refugee”.
This week, he launched a successful bid in the South Gauteng High Court under the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA).
He asked the court to order the department of home affairs to release to him an affidavit drawn up by senior department official Willem Vorster.
According to Krejcir’s application Vorster prepared the affidavit in about August 2010 and it was to serve as the basis for his arrest, detention and deportation from the country.
Krejcir is wanted in the Czech Republic on various charges, including fraud and kidnapping.
He fled his home country for the Seychelles before entering South Africa on a false passport in 2007.
He is currently out on bail in relation to a South African charge of insurance fraud.
In August last year Krejcir was tipped off about the plans to deport him.
He launched a successful urgent court interdict to prevent the police or home affairs from deporting him pending his asylum application, which the Refugee Appeal Board is now scheduled to hear on May 5, 6 and 9.
The hearings are normally held behind closed doors, but the Mail & Guardian together with Media 24 and the Independent Group this week launched an application to obtain media access to the proceedings or to postpone the hearing until the issue is decided.
Krejcir argued in his PAIA application that the facts presented by Vorster, on which his arrest and deportation were to be based, were highly relevant to both his asylum hearing and some of the key questions that the appeal board will have to rule on.
These, he says, include:
- “Whether I am the victim of persecution by the Seychelles and Czech Republic (as I say) or am a fugitive from justice (as the DHA appears to maintain); and
- “Whether the governments of the Czech Republic and/or Seychelles have been engaging in a conspiracy with the government of South Africa to prevent me gaining refugee status.”
To back up his claims of a conspiracy, Krejcir has also demanded access to the internal correspondence between Vorster and the police or Interpol.
In his August 2010 interdict, Krejcir claimed he had been tipped off that “there was a plan to have me arrested and removed to the Czech Republic on the basis that my asylum seeker permit was fraudulent”.
Krejcir said his advice from his lawyer was that “something was seriously wrong” as “there was no question” of the permit being unlawful.
Now, his lawyers claim, he has reason to believe the allegations of Vorster and home affairs “are instead part and parcel of the ongoing political persecution he experiences and from which he seeks to flee …”
The department of home affairs failed to appear at the PAIA hearing and Krejcir’s application was therefore granted unopposed.
This article was produced by amaBhungane, investigators of the M&G Centre for Investigative Journalism, a nonprofit initiative to enhance capacity for investigative journalism in the public interest. www.amabhungane.co.za.