Durban man who was arrested in Zimbabwe over alleged bomb threat narrates what really happened, what he was doing in Zim and the horrific prison conditions he endured

A Durban man, Cuan Reed Govender, found himself embroiled in a nightmarish ordeal after being falsely accused by Zimbabwean authorities of sending a bomb threat.

After being arrested at the Robert Mugabe International Airport for possessing live ammunition in his bag, Govender spent six harrowing days in a Zimbabwean prison before being deported back to his home in eManzimtoti.

In an interview with the POST, Govender recounted the series of events that led to his traumatic experience.

He explained that he had been working remotely as a general manager for a company in Zimbabwe since July 2023 and was on his first business trip to the country when the incident occurred.

Unbeknownst to him, the live rounds of ammunition were concealed in his bag, which went undetected during his departure from South Africa but raised alarms during the security check in Zimbabwe.

Reflecting on his arrest, Govender expressed his shock and compliance with officials, admitting to the mistake of unknowingly carrying the bullets.

Despite pleading guilty to unlawful possession of ammunition at the Harare Magistrate’s Court, Govender was taken aback when he learned that he had been linked to a bomb/firearm alert email that had disrupted operations at Zimbabwe’s airports.

During his time in prison, Govender was confronted with the false accusations circulating on social media, linking him to the bomb threat.

“I spent the weekend in prison, waiting to appear in court on Monday for sentencing.
“During this time, I was visited by a few people, who told me that I was being linked to sending a bomb threat. I was shocked as this was never mentioned to me in court and I did not understand what was going on,” he said.

Despite paying a fine to secure his release, he remained detained until his deportation, enduring inhumane conditions that were exacerbated by his physical challenges as an amputee.

Govender lamented the impact of the false accusations on his life, job, and reputation, highlighting the flaws in the legal system that led to his unjust treatment.

He expressed gratitude for the support of his family and friends during the ordeal, emphasizing the need for accountability and proper investigations to prevent such injustices from recurring.

“The false stories have affected my life, job, and reputation. But, it also exposed the legal system and how they could get things wrong,” Govender stated, reflecting on the traumatic experience and the toll it had taken on him.

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