The lawyer of Zimbabwean businessman Frank Buyanga Sadiqi is demanding his release after being arrested by Interpol South Africa last week.
- Zimbabwean businessman Frank Buyanga Sadiqi was arrested last week by Interpol South Africa.
- On Monday, a Zimbabwean court revoked his arrest warrant.
- His lawyers want the Randburg Court to order his immediate release from prison.
The lawyer representing a Zimbabwean businessman arrested by Interpol on Thursday wants the Randburg Magistrate’s Court to order his client’s immediate release.
This was after a Zimbabwean court on Monday revoked Frank Buyanga Sadiqi’s arrest warrant.
Sadiqi, 43, was arrested last week by Interpol South Africa and the National Intervention Unit (NIU) at a posh hotel in Sandton.
His lawyer, Prince Mafu, confirmed to TBEN that the order had been withdrawn on Monday.
Mafu said he had a meeting with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) on Tuesday, but that it needs to confirm the Zimbabwean court order through diplomatic channels before the case goes before a magistrate in Randburg.
“In terms of the verdict issued in Zimbabwe, there is no record of pending charges or convictions. What there is is a police investigation,” he added on Tuesday.
We try to have this process [Sadiqi’s arrest] pushed aside, but it is clear that the state needs to be convinced through its diplomatic channels that this is indeed the position. We have no commitment on how long that will take.
Sadiqi was wanted in his country for kidnapping and robbery, as well as three counts of contempt of court, TBEN previously reported.
In a statement, police spokesman Athlenda Mathe said Sadiqi allegedly kidnapped his close family and brought them to South Africa.
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“An arrest warrant was immediately issued by the Zimbabwean authorities, after which Interpol Harare also issued a red alert.”
He is due to appear in court in Randburg on Thursday for a formal application for bail.
However, Mafu said that if the DPP’s office confirmed the order to withdraw the arrest warrant, there would be no need to go to court for a bail application.
Sadiqi has been embroiled in a nasty custody battle with his former lover since 2016.
Last November, he was put on the Interpol Red Notice for allegedly abducting his son in Zimbabwe and illegally bringing it to South Africa.
Following his arrest last week, his legal representative filed documents with a Zimbabwean court claiming the warrant was invalid in terms of the law.
In court documents, Sadiqi’s other lawyer, Admire Rubaya, argued that a Zimbabwean magistrate had confirmed in June 2021 that the police officer who signed the application, or that the deponent, was a sergeant.
Rubaya said the warrant was issued irregularly because the deponent of the arrest warrant application must be a police officer of or above the rank of inspector.
Rubaya added that the court had relied on an affidavit from an officer who was merely a “mere detective sergeant.”
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“… the magistrate judge had no legal authority to consider an application for an arrest warrant on the evidence of a sergeant who is not a designated officer in terms of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act.
“It is our client’s considered opinion that the arrest warrant was issued in an irregular manner and therefore cannot remain in force.”
Harare magistrate Judith Taruvinga ruled in Sadiqi’s favor and canceled the arrest warrant.