South Africa cannot simply deport asylum seekers that may face persecution in their home countries because it has a constitution that makes human rights a priority.
That’s the argument advanced by the lawyer for Serbian fugitive and convicted murderer, Dobrosav Gavric.
Gavric was in the Constitutional Court on Tuesday to challenge the decision by the Refugee Status Determination Officer to refuse him refugee status.
The High Court in the Western Cape affirmed the decision.
Gavric faces a 35-year jail term in Serbia after he was convicted of murdering Serbian paramilitary leader Zelko Raznatovic and his two bodyguards in 2001.
Gavric then fled to South Africa under a false identity.
His lawyer Anton Katz responded to Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng’s question before judgment was reserved.
“The man killed by the applicant was known to be a serious politician with a network of assassin and you go and kill him. Now you come to South Africa and say please, these people are going to kill me for having killed their boss are there different considerations or it should never matter? I’m gonna repeat the words that I said, Ntsebe, that’s the prize that we, as South Africans, pay for having the constitution that we have.”