via Chopper crash pilot ‘loves Zimbabwe, Mugabe’ June 20, 2014
SOUTH African businessman Frederick Wilhelm August Lutzkie, who crash-landed and buried his chopper at Doddieburn Farm in Gwanda, yesterday spoke of his love for Zimbabwe and President Robert Mugabe.
Speaking to our sister publication Southern Eye, Lutzkie, who is out on bail pending appeal against a seven-year jail term imposed on him for illegally flying in and out of Zimbabwe, said the country had the potential to economically perform better than South Africa, but needed investors like him.
Lutzkie, who was accompanying his colleague Pieter Schalk Marais to court, said he was working on acquiring Zimbabwean citizenship.
“This is a beautiful country with lovely and intelligent people.
Zimbabwe is a land of milk and honey and has the potential to perform better than South Africa which is slumping now,” Lutzkie said.
“I love President Robert Mugabe and his style of leadership and l wonder what this country would become without him.”
Lutzkie said he had so far injected R23 million into Doddieburn Ranch and was planning to add another R100 million investment in future.
On his stint in prison, Lutzkie said he was touched by the plight of prisoners, adding that most of them were in jail for petty crimes.
“If investors come in, jobs will be created and prisons will be cleared. There isn’t much crime here unlike in South Africa,” he said.
Meanwhile, Marais, who is a shareholder at Doddieburn Ranch, was fined $100 after he pleaded guilty to illegally working in the country.
The State said this year between July 17 2013 and May 17, Marais entered the country as a visitor on holiday, but eventually assumed employment as a supervisor at the ranch. The offence came to light when immigration officials interviewed him following the discovery of the buried chopper.
His colleague Laurens Marthinus Botha, who denied similar charges and is also on trial, yesterday had his application for the temporary release of his passport granted by the court.
Through his lawyer Thamsanqa Khumalo, Botha, whose passport is being held as part of his bail conditions, said he needed to apply for an extension of his stay in the country until the finalisation of his case. The court granted the application for the release of Botha’s passport into the custody of his lawyer.