SOUTH Africa-based Zimbabwean businessman Frank Buyanga Sadiqi has been hit with more criminal charges, by the South African government on top of the four he was slapped with in December last year.
The flamboyant property mogul has been languishing in jail since last November after he was arrested in South Africa at the request of Interpol. An arrest warrant had also been issued against him by the Zimbabwean government.
After he was granted R150,000 bail in December last year, Buyanga was slapped with four more criminal charges.
His organisation Hamilton Foundation said Buyanga has now been hit with three more “concocted charges” on top of the existing four.
His arrest followed a request for his extradition by Zimbabwe on allegations of having kidnapped his son.
In a statement, Hamilton Foundation said their patron is suffering for his political differences “with the existing Zimbabwean government which they have (roped) in their South African counterparts who are at loggerheads with him over an R600 million claim against SARS.”
“All these issues have led to Mr Sadiqi being termed an undesirable person in South Africa, being tried for violating the laws which he abided to ever since he came to Africa.
“The 212 statements from home affairs officials are for the most part contradictory. It is our view that his prosecution is concocted and malicious at least. He has neither been granted bail nor started trial.
“Whenever he wants to advance his case, charges are added. Home affairs declared him a prohibited person whilst in incarceration on 28 November 2022 gave him the opportunity to appeal.
“The magistrate in the matter issued an instruction for him to attend the department of home affairs to be in line with the 10-day appeal but the Saps and correctional facilities denied him access to the department of home affairs.
“Our chairperson is on the Interpol red notice, he cannot travel, he has been declared an undesirable person by the South African government and they intend to deport him to Zimbabwe where it is clear he won’t be afforded any right to a fair trial.
“This ultimately will seal his fate despite being a credible businessman both in Zimbabwe and South Africa having a significant asset base.”
Buyanga is also reported to be unwell and in a sorry state.
Despite this, access to his doctor had been blocked.
“…His health is deteriorating, and (at) his last appearance on the 10th of March 2023 he appeared a pale shadow of himself, he couldn’t walk properly and was aided with a steel crutch despite notes indicating since the 7th of February 2023 that Mr Frank Buyanga Sadiqi is unwell and needs immediate medical attention.
It is said the prosecution undertook to have him seen by a regional state doctor and to allow him access to his personal doctor but nothing materialised.
“The ill-treatment and violation of his rights since the 10th of November 2022 to the present day is indescribable.
“No superlatives can express better the pain and suffering our patron has endured over concocted charges meant to destroy him as a person.
“The State machinery is at work and continues to frustrate his bail applications by piling up charges which do not make sense. The motive is thus clear: destroy Frank Buyanga Sadiqi by all means in order to satisfy the political demagogues who are behind his arrest,” said the foundation.
They said Buyanga remains confident that he will win the battle and be able to reunite with his children who are traumatised having witnessed him being handcuffed by armed men.
Buyanga has been embroiled in a bitter legal fight with his ex-girlfriend Chantelle Muteswa over custody of their minor child for years.
As the legal battle continues in South Africa, another one has been ongoing in Zimbabwe.
A magistrate who had issued a court order which resulted in his arrest made a U-turn following a successful appeal.
In a nasty turn of events, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) appealed against the decision at the High Court and the case is still dragging.
The couple’s fight resulted in a landmark ruling on custody of children born out of wedlock.
The new law in Zimbabwe is now that parents with children born out of wedlock should have equal access to their children.
But the tussle between Buyanga and Muteswa remained unresolved.
Buyanga also accuses the first family of meddling in his personal matters.
His foundation also feels it unnecessary for two governments, Zimbabwe and South to interfere in his personal dispute which has no national interests.
“It is surprising that a domestic dispute between his estranged ex-girlfriend and our patron has led to South Africa and Zimbabwe Governments uniting to bring down a businessman over an issue that could easily be coordinated in the interests of everyone including the minor child,” said Hamilton Foundation.
“The child is South African, born out of a naturalised South African mother and a father who is a British national and permanent resident of South Africa.
“Seemingly no one is interested in investigating how Zimbabwe is fighting to return a child who is inherently South African.”
The child at the centre of the controversy is now in the custody of his mother.