3 South Africans deported

Mr. Prosper Bani —  Minister of the Interior

Mr. Prosper Bani —
Minister of the Interior

The three South African ex-police officers arrested and detained by the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), were yesterday deported to their home country.

They were put on board South African Airways flight number 210, at the Kotoka International Airport in Accra, which departed at about 9:26 to Johannesburg.

The officers, Major Ahmed Shaik Hazis (retired), 54, Captain Mlungiseli Jokani, 45, andWarrant Officer Denver Dwayhe, 33, who were not in handcuffs, were escorted to the plane by officials of BNI and the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), which had revoked their entry visas.

Security sources said South African officials would meet the three on their arrival.

The ex-police officers were arrested at the EL-Capitano Hotel in the Central Region, where they had lodged since their arrival in the country.

They were said to be training 15 young men in various security drills, including unarmed combat, weapon handling, VIP protection techniques and rapid response exercises.

The three were each granted GH¢20, 000 bail by an Accra Circuit Court on March 24, but officials of the BNI refused to release them amidst protest from their lawyers, who considered the act as an abuse of the Constitution, and the rights of the accused persons.

Lawyers of the accused, led by Mr. Ellis Owusu Fordjour and Mr. Samuel Atta Akyea, raised legal issues with their continuous incarceration and threatened to file a contempt suit against the BNI.

The accused who were each charged with three counts of conspiracy to commit crime, unlawful training and making false declaration, pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

The prosecution led by Superintendent Francis Baah, prayed the court to remand them because investigations were on-going, but the counsel garnered legal arguments to justify why the three should be granted bail.

The court, presided over by Mrs. Patricia Quansah, granted the accused bail and the case was adjourned to April 12.

The court ordered that the passports of the accused should be deposited with the Registrar of the court, and that the sureties be provided photo identity cards to satisfy the bail conditions.

There was confusion, however, after the court proceedings, as officers of the BNI whisked the accused persons away.

Their lawyers protested and argued that the rights of their clients were being curtailed and that it was an abuse of the court processes.

Mr. Akyea, for instance, insisted that the court had ordered that the accused persons be released to the Registrar, while they (BNI) went to inspect the houses of the sureties, but instead they opted to take the accused persons away.

The facts of the case as presented in court, were that the accused persons were retired South African Police Officers and that between the month of January and this month, they applied for visa at the Ghana High Commission in South Africa, on the pretext of doing business in Ghana.

It said based on the information given to the High Commissioner, the accused persons were granted their visas and they arrived in Ghana.

According to the facts, a few days ago, information reached the security agencies that some people were training five people in military tactics at Agona Duakwa.

They were arrested and during investigation, the accused persons stated that they were brought into the country from South Africa by Captain Edmund Kojo Koda (retired) and Captain Kwesi Acquah (retired) to train security personnel of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) towards general elections.

Meanwhile, the Immigration Service (GIS) said it had revoked the visas issued to the three South Africans for breaching immigration regulations of the country.

It said checks conducted by the service indicated that the three gave lies concerning the purpose for their travel before entering the country.

A statement signed and issued by the Director of Immigration, Mr. Felix Yaw Sarpong in Accra yesterday, explained that findings by the service showed that the three SA nationals were rather issued a business visa which prohibited any form of employment including the training of bodyguards.

 News Desk Report

Mr. Prosper Bani —  Minister of the Interior

Mr. Prosper Bani —
Minister of the Interior


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