SA pilot to appear in Zimbabwe court

South African helicopter pilot Brent Smyth, who was arrested in Zimbabwe last week, will appear again in court on Thursday, said his employer ATS aviation services.

ATS spokesperson Laverne Machine said Smyth arrived at the court in Harare on Tuesday but was sent away after the magistrate said he needed two days to prepare his findings.

“It is still not clear what the charges are,” she said.

Machine said Smyth had been granted bail and was released into the custody of the South African consulate on Monday. However, it was not clear on Tuesday if his bail had been granted and where exactly he was.

Foreign Affairs Department spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa confirmed that Smyth had been granted bail on Monday and was released into the custody of his lawyer.

Smyth was initially arrested on fraud charges as he was preparing to ferry Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai to election rallies.

The charges were withdrawn after the state failed to bring the case to court within 48 hours as stipulated by Zimbabwean law.

Smyth’s lawyer Innocent Chagonda was not immediately available for comment.
- Sapa

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