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Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Egypt releases South African doctor bound for Gaza.

A South African charity worker detained in Egypt has been released, the foreign ministry said today.

"Following consultations between the South African government and the Egyptian authorities, the South African doctor who was arrested in Egypt... has now been released," said foreign affairs spokesman Ronnie Mamoepa.

"He is on his way back to South Africa."

Dr Feroz Abukaker Ganchi, a medical practitioner at an Upington hospital, was en-route to Gaza along with a humanitarian expedition when Egyptian authorities took him in for questioning last Friday.

"We want to express our gratitude to the Egyptian authorities for the manner in which they helped to find a speedy and amicable solution to this matter," said Mamoepa.

He declined to say exactly when Ganchi would arrive in South Africa but said he believed he would be back home today.

This was not the first time Ganchi had been arrested.

In 2004, he was detained for nearly five months in Pakistan on suspicion of belonging to a terrorist organisation and receiving training in that country.

Along with South African Zubair Ismail and a dozen other people, Ganchi was arrested in the Pakistan town of Gujerat on July 25, 2004.

Their arrests followed a 12-hour shoot-out with security forces at a house in Gujerat, south-east of Islamabad. More