SA Supreme Court of Appeal reserves judgment in terrorist case

SA Supreme Court of Appeal, Bloemfontein. Photo: André Grobler

Judgment was reserved in the appeal hearing of convicted Nigerian terrorist, Henry Okah, in the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in Bloemfontein.

Okah appealed against a South Gauteng High Court ruling that found him guilty on 13 counts related to terrorism.

It refers to two bombings in Nigeria in March and October 2010. The bombings were aimed at oil companies operating in the region.

Okah was arrested in South Africa the day after the Abuja bomb blast. He stood trial in South Africa and was sent to jail for 24 years for engaging in terrorist activities, conspiracy to engage in terrorist activities, and delivering, placing and detonating an explosive device.

He was tried in terms of the Protection of Constitutional Democracy against Terrorist and Related Activities Act, which affords South African courts jurisdiction to hear crimes of terrorism committed beyond the country’s borders.

Okah appealed the matter in the SCA, questioning the jurisdiction of the local court to hear the specific offenses.

He further submitted that the evidence did not prove a contravention in terms of the act. – André Grobler/Courant News