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Dirco insists its trying to help detained SA man

Dirco has denied claims that its failing to assist a South African man being detained in an Egyptian prison.

FILE: The Department of International Relations & Cooperation. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The International Relations Department (Dirco) has denied claims that its failing to assist a South African man being detained in an Egyptian prison.

Sheikh 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.

Bassiouni is accused of being part of the banned Muslim Brotherhood.

While Sheikh Bassiouni remains at the notorious Tora Prison, Dirco's Clayson Monyela says they're doing all they can to assist in his safe return home.

"The family knows that truth that Dirco is doing everything possible."

He says there are issues surrounding negotiations with Egypt about the case.

"The difficulty we're having is that Egypt is saying that this is their own citizen and therefore no country has the legal right to claim access to him."

Meanwhile, the Legal Resources Centre has taken Bassiouni's case.

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