SA cannot hold Aristide back: Chabane
Cape Town - The South African government could not hold former Haitian president Jean-Betrand Aristide "hostage" if he wanted to return to his homeland, minister in the presidency Collins Chabane said on Thursday.
"What I should stress is that we are not sending former president Aristide to Haiti. He was given the passport by the government of Haiti and we can't hold him hostage if he wants to go.
"So that is an issue which they are supposed to resolve themselves, but we can't be held responsible for whether he should go or not go."
Chabane was reacting to media reports that Aristide planned to fly home on Thursday, days before the Caribbean nation's crucial presidential run-off election on Sunday.
He said Aristide had not given South Africa any indication of when exactly he plans to leave.
Aristide has spent seven years in exile in South Africa.
The United States has cautioned that the presidential poll could be destabilised by his return but Pretoria this week repeatedly said it could not dictate to the charismatic former president what he should do.