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Dirco in talks with Egypt authorities over SA detainee

The 65-year-old was detained by Egypt’s National Security at Cairo Airport in early December.

FILE: Sheikh Abdul Salam Jad Bassiouni remains at the notorious Tora Prison, in Egypt, where numerous high-profile prisoners have been detained. Picture: stock.xchng.

JOHANNESBURG - The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) says it's doing all it can to assist a South African man of Egyptian decent who is being detained in Egypt.

Sheikh Abdul Salam Jad Bassiouni is a community leader in Lenasia.

He was detained by Egypt's National Security at Cairo Airport in early December, along with his son Bilal.

Bilal was released but his father remains at the notorious Tora Prison, where numerous high-profile prisoners have been detained.

The department's Nelson Kgwete says they are using various diplomatic channels to assist the Bassiouni family.

"Our embassy in Egypt has held consultations with our counterparts in that country."

Kgwete says a meeting was also held with the Egyptian ambassador to South Africa, enquiring why Bassiouni is being detained without being charged.

"We are going to remain on the case until the matter is dealt with fairly and transparently."

Meanwhile the 65-year-old's family says they're concerned about his health as he has taken a nasty fall in prison.