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Prohibited person Lutzkie gets ban lifted

Prohibited person Lutzkie gets ban lifted

Chronicle 21 August 2017

Frederick Lutzkie

Frederick Lutzkie

Mashudu Netsianda, Senior Court Reporter
THE Supreme Court has lifted the ban on South African businessman, Frederick Lutzkie who had for the past three years, been declared a prohibited person in the country.

The ruling by Supreme Court judge Justice Paddington Garwe followed an appeal by Lutzkie challenging his status after he was in 2014 declared a prohibited person in the country by the principal director of immigration Mr Clemence Masango.

“In the result, the appellant (Lutzkie), having become a prohibited person on pronouncement of the sentence of three and a half years, reverted to his original status once the sentence was substituted with a fine. The suspended sentence of 12 months imposed in addition to the fine is not a term of imprisonment envisaged in section 14 (i) (e) of the Immigration Act,” ruled the judge.

Lutzkie (54) made headlines four years ago following his involvement in a helicopter crash at Doddieburn Ranch in West Nicholson that raised a lot of eyebrows after he allegedly buried the wreckage of the chopper.

He was subsequently arrested and convicted on his own plea of guilty to contravening sections of the Civil Aviation Act and the Immigration Act by Harare magistrate Mr Vakayi Chikwekwe who sentenced him to seven years in jail.

However, the High Court in May 2015 quashed the prison term on appeal and ordered him to pay $400 for each of the 14 counts on which he was convicted.

In total, Lutzkie paid $5 600 for all his offences which included flying without permission from the Civil Aviation of Zimbabwe and fraudulently acquiring an entry and exit stamp at Beitbridge Border Post.

Lutzkie, through his lawyer Mr Vonani Majoko of Majoko and Majoko Legal Practitioners filed an appeal at the Supreme Court challenging the decision to declare him a prohibited person.

In his heads of argument, Lutzkie contended that his prohibition in the country was premised on a sentence which the High Court set aside.

“It is common cause that the sentence of imprisonment imposed on the appellant by the magistrate’s court was overturned on appeal and substituted with a fine. The declaration of prohibition is consequent to a sentence of imprisonment without the option of a fine and therefore a sentence to pay fine cannot trigger a declaration for prohibition,” argued Mr Majoko.

“When the sentence of imprisonment was set aside, by operation of law, and automatically, the declaration of prohibition fell away.”

The Civil Division in the Attorney-General’s Office, which was representing the principal director of immigration, opposed the appeal, arguing that the issue of prohibition hinged on Lutzkie’s conviction.

“While the sentence of imprisonment was overturned on appeal, appellant was sentenced to a fine on each count and that alone is a conviction in our submissions. The High Court simply minimised the sentence and did not take away the whole sentence and conviction and therefore section 14(1) (e) of the Immigration Act applies. Wherefore we pray for the dismissal of the appellant’s claim,” argued the Civil Division in the AG’s Office.

Lutzkie, who claims to have invested $2,3 million in a safari business venture, has previously alleged that a senior Government official was using his position to frustrate him and grab his ranch near West Nicholson.—@mashnets



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