SA probes Moz expropriation of SA resort

2011-07-25 22:10
Johannesburg - South African authorities are investigating the expropriation of a South African-owned resort in southern Mozambique, the SA High Commission in the country said on Monday.

"We have made contact with the investor and tried to find the facts," said an official from the high commission in Maputo.

Mozambique's special police force, FIR, evicted inhabitants of the 13 houses in La Perla do Bilene resort in the lakeside town of Bilene a week ago despite a pending Supreme Court ruling on the case. The police left furniture on the pavement and changed the locks to the doors.

An official of South Africa's department of trade and industry was looking into the case, the embassy said.

"We will make contact with the [Mozambican] government as soon as we have the facts."

Police sent to clear property

The resort borders on properties linked to Mozambican President Armando Guebuza and former president Joaquim Chissano.

All land in Mozambique is public property, and individuals or businesses obtain a lease, or right, to use the land. However, they can own the buildings and other constructions on the land.

If permit-holders do not use the land for the purpose stated on the permit, they could lose the right to use the land.

Mozambican state media reported the owner of the resort had parcelled and sold off the land, which did not comply with its permit to run a tourist resort.

Though the country's supreme court still needs to rule on whether the Mozambican government may register the buildings on the resort in the state's name, police were sent to clear the property.

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