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Zim court cancels arrest warrant against businessman detained in SA by Interpol, lawyer demands his release

Interpol arrested fugitive Zimbabwean businessman Frank Buyanga in South Africa for kidnapping and robbery. File Photo/African News Agency

Published Nov 16, 2022


Pretoria – A lawyer representing Zimbabwean businessman Frank Buyanga Sadiqi, who is in custody following his arrest by Interpol, wants the Randburg Magistrate’s Court to order his client’s immediate release.

The Harare Provincial Magistrate’s court cancelled Sadiqi’s warrant of arrest on Monday due to a technicality.

The order was issued by Magistrate Judith Taruvinga

This comes after the 43-year-old was arrested by Interpol in South Africa through the assistance of the SAPS’s National Intervention Unit (NIU) last Thursday.

He is wanted by the Zimbabwean authorities for kidnapping, robbery and three counts of contempt of court.

“The charges emanate from an incident which took place in April, 2020 in Zimbabwe where the suspect kidnapped his next of kin and fled with him to South Africa.

“A warrant of arrest was immediately issued by Zimbabwean authorities after which a red notice was also issued by Interpol Harare,” national police spokesperson, Colonel Athlenda Mathe, said in a statement.

In the application filed on Tuesday, Sadiqi’s lawyer, Admire Rubaya, said the application was launched on the basis that Sadiqi’s warrant of arrest was issued “erroneously”.

Rubaya argued that a Zimbabwean magistrate had in June, 2021 confirmed that the police officer who subscribed to the application or the deponent was a sergeant and the that the arrest warrant should have been issued by an inspector.

“This means that the warrant of arrest was irregularly issued because the deponent to the application for the warrant of arrest must be a police officer who is of or above the rank or inspector.

“The court relied on the affidavit of one Lilybirth Ndlovu who is just a mere detective sergeant who is just an investigating officer at the police station, and not the officer in charge of a police station or above the rank of assistant inspector,” read the court papers.

Sadiqi is expected to appear in court on Thursday for a formal bail application. However, if his warrant of arrest is cancelled, there will be no need for a bail hearing.

The Zimbabwe Independent, a weekly business newspaper, reported that Sadiqi was wanted in Zimbabwe for child trafficking, forgery and violation of the Immigration Act.

According to the newspaper, Sadiqi had been involved in a child custody battle with his estranged girlfriend, Chantelle Tatenda Muteswa, for years.

He reportedly left Zimbabwe with the child illegally. He was later listed on Interpol’s red notice.