SANDF military vet Gareth Rutherford has opened up about how it feels to be a free man after spending 10 years in a Kuwait prison for a crime he didn't commit.
Rutherford was charged with drug trafficking in 2008 and sentenced to life behind bars.
He's now been released thanks to a surprise amnesty just a few weeks ago and arrived home in Cape Town this past Sunday.
Rutherford joined CapeTalk host Pippa Hudson and a live studio audience to reflect on his moving story.
Writer Axel Braumann, who is writing a book about Rutherford's story based on his prison diaries and his own research, also shared his thoughts.
[Live studio audience] Imagine being accused of a crime you didn't commit? How does one keep your head above water after 10 years in a Kuwaiti prison? @pjchudson is in conversation with war hero #GarethRutherford on air now @CapeTalk pic.twitter.com/Haw0erTqxn— Amy-Rae Rispel (@amyraerispel) November 27, 2018
Rutherford was leaving the Middle East and headed to the airport to catch a flight to Cape Town on 18 September 2008 when his life took a turn.
On his way to the Kuwait airport, he was asked to make a detour into the city to pick up tyres for a friend.
Thinking nothing of it, he stopped at a tyre shop and a group of men loaded the vehicle he was travelling in.
On his way to the airport, he was pulled over and law enforcement officials found Hashish inside the tyres.
For years Rutherford ran his blog from the Kuwait Central Prison where he explained his version of events on the fateful day he was arrested.
He spoke about his military life, arrest, trial, sentence and life after prison.
It's been one long celebration. A celebration of great friends and old acquaintances rebuilt.— Gareth Rutherford, SANDF military veteran
It's been extremely overwhelming... I've been so encouraged for so long.— Gareth Rutherford, SANDF military veteran
I started writing my first diary when I was 10 years old... It's therapy and a huge feature of my recovery, survival and endurance. The journals were absolutely critical to my mental stability and survival.— Gareth Rutherford, SANDF military veteran
I was caught on the wrong side of the road and abducted as it were, arrested.— Gareth Rutherford, SANDF military veteran
I have no guilt of this infraction anymore.— Gareth Rutherford, SANDF military veteran
There were nefarious groups involved in their illegal business... In my careless operations, I didn't see it coming.— Gareth Rutherford, SANDF military veteran
While I was refuelling, they were putting things in my pick up truck... What it was, I didn't care.— Gareth Rutherford, SANDF military veteran
I couldn't have known. The tyres were sealed and were going for repair. There was no way I could possibly tell.— Gareth Rutherford, SANDF military veteran
It was their word against mine.— Gareth Rutherford, SANDF military veteran
By sharing, I wasn't alone.— Gareth Rutherford, SANDF military veteran
Listen to the inspiring discussion on The Pippa Hudson Show:
This article first appeared on CapeTalk : [WATCH] Army vet Gareth Rutherford tells horror of 10 years spent in Kuwait jail