Johannesburg, SOUTH AFRICA – Zimbabwe property investor Frank Buyanga, currently held in a South African jail, has filed an urgent High Court chamber application in the neighbouring country, fighting his extradition to answer to charges of kidnapping his son.
Buyanga, entangled in a drawn out fight with ex-girlfriend Chantelle Muteswa over custody of the couple’s eight-year-old son, was last Thursday picked up by Interpol in South Africa on an arrest warrant issued by Zimbabwean authorities.
He has been languishing in remand prison since then and has been denied bail.
The process of bringing him to Zimbabwe to face trial is currently ongoing.
The flamboyant business tycoon feels this is being done against the law and is seeking stay of the process and also demanding his immediate release from jail.
In his court application, Buyanga cited South Africa’s director of public prosecutions, department of correctional services, Justice Minister, Commissioner of police as well as his baby mama, Chantelle Muteswa as respondents.
He also joined Zimbabwean authorities in South Africa including the department of Home Affairs, international relations and the embassy of Zimbabwe.
Buyanga complained that the South African authorities have chosen to sacrifice their constitutional values by executing a request that is inconsistent with the Constitution of South Africa and in constructive contempt of the processes initiated by Justice Fischer.
He said South African authorities had been pressured to see him suffer by the Zimbabwean government.
The businessman insists Muteswa was the one who first kidnapped their son and also stole the boy from the school he attended in Harare but was never charged for the offence he is ironically being charged with.
Buyanga further insists President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his family were involved in the whole scandal and were determined to witness his downfall.
He said the police have been zealous in their case against him, a spirit he says was never shown when he sought their assistance.
“I have not been found guilty of any criminal actions, yet I am being portrayed as a fugitive and treated as a criminal.
“My attorneys advised the court that I am not within the jurisdiction of Zimbabwe, producing a stamped copy of my passport.
“The Chief Immigration Officer proceeded to give a report to the court that I did not exit the country and they do not have a record of my exit. This is either a lie or a fault within their system which I cannot be responsible for.
“I have requested several times that they retract their incorrect report, as I am out of the jurisdiction of the Zimbabwean courts;.I am a law-abiding citizen.
He said all his complaints have fallen on deaf ears.
Buyanga said a court order was issued by the South Africa courts in his favour but that has not been respected resulting in his arrest.
“I find it ironic, irregular and unconstitutional for the first to fourth respondents herein to treat me as a fugitive to the extent that they will defy the current court processes in their own country in order to please Zimbabwe.
“There is no justification for the blind obedience of this extradition process currently under way; it is prematurely executed as there is a pending court process currently under way.
He said it was common cause that the alleged crimes committed in Zimbabwe are about his son who is a South African citizen.
“It is bizarre therefore for the first Respondent to insist on prosecuting me to the extent of opposing my bail application despite being made aware of the ongoing High Court process.
“What the respondents herein fail to understand is that they are defeating the ends of justice by disregarding the court processes that are currently under way,” he said.
The businessman said authorities also failed to realise that he was the one who brought an application to interdict his arrest and extradition to Zimbabwe.
Buyanga said by doing that, he was removing the so-called fugitive status by subjecting himself to the legal processes.
He contends Judge Fisher had the powers then to simply order his arrest and extradition and still has the same powers to do so should she decide to give custody and the right to return to Zimbabwe with his son to his ex-girlfriend.
“The current court process hits two birds with one stone; if I am granted primary custody to stay with Daniel Buyanga Sadiqi in South Africa, the extradition order becomes moot here on South Africa and I will have a fighting chance to get my name removed on the Red Notice list with Interpol.
“Until then, the current extradition process currently under way is unconstitutional, irregular and defeats the ends of justice, it’s contemptuous on nature, disregards and undermines the powers, functions and duties of the courts to the extent that the First to Fourth Respondents herein have broken the concept of separation of powers of the arms of the state,” he said.
“Political influence, use of State machinery and abuse of authority by the Zimbabwean government in this matter as stated somewhere above Miss Muteswa is heavily involved with the first family to the extent that she is willing to be used as a pawn to get to me. She has had frequent visits to the Zimbabwean State House during my custody battle in Zimbabwe.
“There is no merit in this matter that warrants my arrest and detention to the extent that the state is justified in opposing bail.
“It is bizarre for the Zimbabwean government to label me as a fugitive when I have been filing court papers in their courts since the Manzunzu judgement till present day.
Meanwhile, his lawyers in Zimbabwe have filed papers before the Harare Magistrates court, in a bid to overturn the ‘erroneous warrant of arrest order.’