South African prosecutors have charged former high-ranking police officials over the illegal rendition of seven Zimbabwean immigrants.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Luvuyo Mfaku said Saturday three former members of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation were charged with kidnapping and defeating the ends of justice over the illegal arrest and deportation of the immigrants in November 2010 and January 2011.

The African News Agency reported that the South African police worked with their Zimbabwean counterparts to trace, arrest and deport the immigrants, some of whom later died in Zimbabwean police custody. South African media allege the Zimbabweans were wanted criminals.

South Africa does not have an extradition agreement with Zimbabwe, but does allow for persons accused or convicted of a crime to be handed over with the president's permission.