A detective constable from the South African Police Services (SAPS) is facing charges of defeating the ends of justice after he was caught trying to release Zimbabwean businessman Frank Buyanga from prison.

The detective, who works for the Mondeor detectives, had claimed he needed to take Buyanga out for an investigation, but it was later revealed that he had no case linked to Buyanga.

The arrest was made by the Hawks Serious Corruption Investigation Unit, and according to Hawks spokesperson Colonel Katlego Mogale, the constable’s arrest was related to a case of fraud and contravention of the Immigration Act against Buyanga, who had been charged in November 2022 and refused bail due to kidnapping charges in his home country.

The incident occurred on April 14, 2023, when the detective received a call from Johannesburg Correctional Services notifying him that he needed to release Buyanga for investigation.

However, the investigating officer quickly intervened and requested the prison warders to delay the constable, as he and his colleagues were on their way. Upon arrival, the constable was questioned and it was revealed that he had no case connected to Buyanga, resulting in his arrest.

Buyanga, who was wanted by Zimbabwean authorities on charges of kidnapping, was previously arrested in November last year at an upscale hotel in Sandton, Johannesburg, with the assistance of Interpol South Africa and the SAPS National Intervention Unit.

He had been granted bail of R150,000 by the Randburg Magistrate’s Court on allegations of kidnapping his son in Harare in 2020 and contempt of court, but was immediately re-arrested for breaching South African immigration laws.

The SAPS had previously stated that Buyanga was wanted by Zimbabwean authorities for kidnapping, robbery, and contempt of court, stemming from an incident in April 2020 where he allegedly kidnapped his next of kin and fled to South Africa.

A red notice was issued by Interpol Harare, leading to his arrest in Sandton. According to reports, Buyanga had been involved in a child custody battle with his former girlfriend for years, and had left Zimbabwe with the child illegally, resulting in the charges against him.