/ 24 August 2008

Uganda confirms arrest of South Africans

The South African high commission in Uganda is applying for permission to visit two South Africans held in prison in that country.

South African Foreign Affairs Department spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa said on Sunday that the commission would provide the two with consular

Islamic relief workers Mufti Hussain Bhayat and Haroon Saley were reportedly detained early on Monday last week during a stopover at Entebbe International Airport in Kampala.

Uganda’s New Vision online newspaper said they were taken in for questioning by a joint anti-terrorism task force.

The Muslim Judicial Council believe they are being subjected to Islam-phobic profiling and the council and the Media Review Network wanted Intelligence Minister Ronnie Kasrils to intervene.

The two work for Crescent of Hope, an Islamic organisation that undertakes charitable and relief work, and had made the stopover in Uganda on their way home to South Africa from Kenya.

Mamoepa said on Sunday that the South African high commission had been officially informed by the Ugandan authorities of the arrest of the pair, along with two Ugandan nationals. The two Ugandans had since been released. – Sapa