SA High Court temporarily stops removal of Buyanga’s son to Zimbabwe
A South African High Court judge has granted businessman Frank Buyanga a temporary interdict stopping attempts to remove his seven-year-old son to Zimbabwe, where authorities say he was unlawfully taken.
The court also resolved that, until a resolution to the custody dispute between Buyanga and his ex-girlfriend Chantelle Muteswa is finalised, the child will be under the guardianship of the Benoni-based Centre for Child Law.
The Centre for Child Law has also been empowered by the High Court to facilitate access to the child by Muteswa at Buyanga’s cost.
This comes after Buyanga approached the High Court on an urgent basis last week, his lawyers arguing that the child is a South African citizen who was unlawfully taken to Zimbabwe in 2016 by Muteswa.
According to a report by ZimLive, in granting Buyanga the temporary interdict, Justice Denise Carol Fisher of the Gauteng High Court set a date of December 9 for a full hearing into the custody dispute, with lawyers for Muteswa and Buyanga expected to file arguments.
South Africa’s home affairs department and the ministry of international relations have been joined in the proceedings as well as the Zimbabwean embassy in Pretoria and the Centre for Child Law.
The property investor accused Muteswa of taking his son to Zimbabwe without his consent as required by law after they had a fallout over infidelity issues.
“On or around 2016, Buyanga and Muteswa had a fallout after it became apparent that she was having an affair with a Zimbabwean business mogul based in Harare. As such, Muteswa unlawfully relocated the minor child in a bid to settle with her new lover without the peremptory consent of Buyanga,” Buyanga’s lawyers say.
Buyanga says Muteswa is now romantically involved with President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s son, Collins, and the legal processes in Zimbabwe were poisoned by “serious political influence.”
“It became apparent that I was fighting the state machinery in the courts,” Buyanga charges.
Advocate Prince Mafu, instructed by Ntozakhe Attorneys, appeared for Buyanga while Advocate Henk Horn represented Muteswa, who joined proceedings by video link from Harare.