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By Agencies


A SOUTH African convicted in 1989 would be released on humanitarian grounds by the Zimbabwe authorities on Thursday, a foreign affairs statement said on Wednesday.

Riaan Schutte would be released into the care of the South African ambassador to Zimbabwe Jerry Ndou, Cassie Aucamp and family members before returning to South Africa.

The decision to release Schutte follows representations made to President Robert Mugabe by President Thabo Mbeki earlier this year.

Schutte, who served 15 years in prison, would be released from Chikurubi prison due to illness.

Zimbabwe's foreign minister, Stan Mudenge, on Tuesday advised foreign affairs minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma of the decision to release Schutte.

Said SA foreign affairs spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa: "The release from prison of Schutte underlines the strength of diplomatic relations between South Africa and Zimbabwe and the successes that can be made through the policy of quiet diplomacy.

"The South African government extends its gratitude to President Robert Mugabe, the government and people of Zimbabwe for Schutte's early release."
Sapa






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