JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – Frank Buyanga was Friday released from a South African prison where he has been held for over a month but his freedom was immediately curtailed by new charges which were slapped on the property tycoon.
Buyanga was granted R150,000 bail at the Randburg Magistrates’ Court.
However, his joy was short-lived after he was hit with fresh criminal charges by the South African government.
Advocate Mafu, representing the businessman, confirmed the development.
“His bail application was successful for the extradition matter. It has been set at R150,000. However, on Wednesday the day before yesterday brought about new charges of fraud, contravention of the Immigration Act and defeating the ends of justice. He is going back for bail application next Tuesday for that matter,” the lawyer told ZimLive.
In granting him bail, the magistrate had ruled that Buyanga “is not a flight risk as he has substantial business interest in South Africa.”
He had been arrested and held on allegations of kidnapping his minor son, whose custody is at the centre of a fierce tug-of-war between the businessman and his former girlfriend.
He was picked up by Interpol early last month after a warrant of arrest was issued against him by the Zimbabwean courts.
Buyanga was initially denied bail by South African courts before he filed an application challenging his extradition on grounds that the arrest warrant was wrongly issued.
Back home, his case has been more farcical after judges and a magistrate have tripped over each other in pronouncing contradicting judgements over his case.
The businessman challenged the issuing of the warrant through his lawyer, Admire Rubaya of Rubaya and Chatambudza Legal practitioners.
Harare magistrate Judith Taruvinga cancelled the warrant ruling that it was erroneously issued.
Prosecutor General Nelson Mutsonziwa appealed the magistrate’s ruling further delaying Buyanga’s freedom.
The legal fights turned even more nasty after a High Court judge Pisirayi Kwenda set aside the magistrate’s ruling saying she had erroneously cancelled the warrant.
Kwenda said he had read about the cancellation in newspapers.
Unhappy with the judge’s conduct, Buyanga sought Kwenda’s recusal but he refused to step down.
The matter was appealed at the Supreme Court but the judge still went on to deliver the ruling against the law which required him to wait until the appeal was finalised.