At this stage, there is apparently little progress with the case of two South Africans who are being held on drug-related charges in Equatorial Guinea in Central Africa.
Frik Potgieter (53) from George in the Western Cape and his colleague, Peter Huxham (55) from Langebaan, were apprehended and arrested at different times at the Anda China hotel in Malabo on 9 February.
It is still not clear what the drug-related complaint is related to.
“As far as we know, they are still in the Mongoma prison,” a spokesperson for the Potgieter family told Rhewal on Monday.
“Unfortunately, we have no contact with them, although our legal representative met with them about two weeks ago.”
The spokesperson says that it seems to the legal representative that Potgieter and Huxham are doing well under the circumstances and that it sounds like they are “being treated okay”.
“But we have to understand that of course they couldn’t say much since everything happens under supervision.”
The men’s families maintain that Potgieter and Huxham, who are also just acquaintances, have never had anything to do with drugs or drug smuggling in their lives. In a short insert about the incident Carte blanche On Sunday evening, Potgieter and Huxham also denied any connection with the alleged drug find. The two men have been working as engineers for a Dutch company for many years.
Rhewal used to report that charges were not immediately filed against the men, but charges have apparently been filed in the meantime.
“We know that a complaint has been made, but we do not know what its content is,” said the spokesperson.
So there is still little progress with the legal process.
“It remains a difficult matter and we are subjected to Equatorial Guinea’s processes.”
Meanwhile, speculation continues about the real reason for the men’s detention.
Carte blanche was one of several media outlets linking the men’s arrest with a political agenda of Equatorial Guinea’s deputy president, Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, connected.
Rhewal earlier reported that on February 7, South African authorities seized two houses and a superyacht belonging to Mangue after a South African businessman sued him for illegal arrest and torture.
Daniel Janse van Rensburg was illegally detained and tortured for 491 days in a notorious prison in Equatorial Guinea after a business deal went wrong in 2013. Huxham and Potgieter were arrested three days after the seizures.
However, the Potgieter family’s spokesperson emphasizes that these speculations are unfounded.
“These are the opinions of outsiders. Although the timing of Frik and Peter’s arrest coincides with this [met die seiljag-voorval] match, such statements can damage their case.”
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