SA man in Moz jail for debt

2012-11-10 10:50
A South African man has spent the last three months in a Mozambican prison because he could not afford his hotel bill.

Department of International Relations spokesperson Nelson Kgwete told Beeld newspaper that his department could not help Albert Smith (40) because the bill was a personal debt.

“The South African High Commission in Maputo cannot interfere because this is a private legal matter between Smith and his creditors.”

Smith could only be released once his R5 300 bill at the Fatima Hotel and Guesthouse in Inhambane, and a R600 deportation tariff had been paid, the newspaper reported today. He was not charged by the police.

Smith’s sister, Elize, said his family was struggling to find out exactly what he did wrong and how they can get him back from Mozambique. They also do not know how to pay the bill and whether it needs to be done in the country.