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.

  • Kevin - 2011-07-26 06:56

    Has fat boy got relatives in Mozambique. And to think that our country gives aid to these hoodlums

      iDubula - 2011-07-26 07:57

      Not so quick Kevin - Mozambique actually respects it's own laws - theyr are streets ahead of SA in this regard. Let us wait for the true facts to reveal themselves, as I am sure we will find that the developer took some illegal shortcuts along the way, which has now resulted in the Moz Government putting their foot down.

      nn.prv - 2011-07-26 08:53

      So what ,you now want Mozambican land too?It doesnt work that way.Giving aid does not entitle you to their land.

      Fred - 2011-07-26 09:37

      Most cases of expropriation in Mozambique usually follows an extensive investigation of all the facts, you must have all the right documentation, you must have a detailed plan on what the land will be used for, including detailed drawings and sketches of all building, these must be registered and signed by the correct department, all documents must be signed by all the appropriated departments, not by a "chief" or "induna", bottles of wine, bags of rice and maize are not classed as appropriate payment, you must be registered with the Min of Labour, finance and tourism and you must have a license and a residence permit ( DIRE.), if you have all the above you must then have it all registered, stamped and signed for at the correct government department in Maputo, if not you may end up losing the lot, there are many fly by night South African business men in Moz so we have become targeted, if you want to "buy" land in Moz do so through one of the banks and get advise from the Embassy or one of the finance companies( PWC, Ernst and Young or KPMG.)otherwise you could end up with major problems.

      Joao Guirengane - 2011-07-28 14:50

      Kevin, it is always advisable to state accurate facts, if one does not want to transpire as ignorant. First Mozambique does not get any aid from South Africa, they are equal trading partners, who act on arms-length basis. Second, even in respect of countries that are generous towards this Indian Ocean Pearl, that does not entitle their citizens to ignore the Laws of Mozambique. Mozambique (and its people) welcomes, and treats all its residents and visitors with love and respect and expects the same. Lastly the term "hoodlums" is offensive. Visiting Mozambique would go a long way in broadening your perspectives and melting your bigotry. As for the reported case, I hope that if the underlying South African investors were innocent, that they get compensated, however if they did bypass all legal avenues, I congratulate the Mozambican Government. As for News24, I'm again disappointed - I'm struggling to understand why there was a need to mention the names of the two Mozambican Statesmen in such a small case. It's pitiful For everyone else, I reassure you that investing in Mozambique is becoming increasingly profitable, easy and enjoyable. You could do it at the same time as adding value to a Nation also known as the Land of the Good people. For further info, add Sahane consultoria and Servicos on facebook and you will be duly advised.

  • Smaal - 2011-07-26 07:38

    I truly hope that there is more to this story then just another African property grab. It would be very bad for Mozambique considering the huge investments and being gifted with the “new gateway to Africa” title. Mozambique is about to become one of the economic exception in Africa. I really hope it is not as it sounds.

      Rob - 2011-07-26 07:56

      A leopard does not change it's spots. Rob

      Goose - 2011-08-03 08:01

      I too hope there is merit in what the Moz Gov did here. We must wait for the facts. Moz is extremely reliant upon SA for it's survival as I have been there a few times and though there is a stack of poverty, without SA finance pouring into their economy, they would be a very big basket case. Theft in the country is a real problem and you have to keep a look out for your car and other stuff continuously. It is an exquisite place, but typical of any other African country when you look at the government. Corruption is pretty high. I had friends who had a big business and houses there years ago and were kicked out with nothing with the rest of the Europeans. It has become a little better of late, but until African governments come clean and start governing fairly and honestly, not much will change. I think they have a long way to go...

      Mosquito1 - 2011-08-03 08:55

      Goose what financial support are you talking about? That is an astounding comment. Mozambique certainly does rely on funding from certain countries but I assure you SA is not one them. South African business comes here to try and make money not give money.

  • Chika01 - 2011-07-26 07:50

    When doing any buisness in Moz pick your partners with care. Have the right people doing your paperwork and pray, This is not a case of expropriation of land it is the wrong partner at the start, the partner then believed he was not getting a big enough cut spoke to his buddies and someone found a hole in the paperwork, sad but true.

  • iDubula - 2011-07-26 07:54

    I am certain it is a case of the developer taking shortcuts, and the investors are now paying the price for their gullibility. Under Mozambican law, no land can be owned, only the right to the usage of land can be obtained through the correct channels. No sub-dividing may occur either. This is most likely what the developer has done, illegally subdividing the land and selling off the respective plots to investors who ignorantly bought them and built houses on them.

  • The Monk - 2011-07-26 09:49

    This is so cool. We are getting so much exercise just jumping to conclusions. It would be nice if more information was given to give a better perspective.

  • Hangmann - 2011-07-26 10:01

    NATIONALIZATION Mozambique style. Getting a taste of your own medicine before you've even had a chance to dish it out to others!!!!!!! heh heh heh heh.

  • struth - 2011-07-26 10:25

    I see the usual ugly trotskyites are at it again on the blog. The land does not belong to Blacks based on skin colour. Furthermore any land that belongs to any South African be they black white or Asian stays in their hands. That is the law. If you dont like it move to Zim. The whole constitution would have changed to achieve your evil mindset. Rather ask your Government what they are doing with the land that is currently in their hands.

  • EX Rhodie - 2011-07-26 13:59

    Probably some white trash owner who treats the locals like slaves and gives preference to same white trash as clients. Good on them -throw them all out. This is Africa now where people are tired of being treated like slaves by white scum. ex rhodie

      ANCockup - 2011-07-26 14:19

      How do you treat your black girlfriend/hooker?

  • seantuna - 2011-07-26 18:46

    this land actually belongs to my father in law.he has the title deeds for this.braam bruwer built on land that is not his.people leave sa and think that other countries laws dont apply to them.

  • seantuna - 2011-07-26 18:49

    this land at bilene ,belongs to my father and these houses were built there many south africans are opperating in bilene under the radar and paying taxes.we have the title deeds for this land.

  • pembaforeignbusiness chamber - 2011-07-26 22:21

    i am chairman of the pemba foreign business chamber, now over the years we have found that certain south africans come to mozambique, they think its a 3rd world country and therefor there are no rules for them. and if there are rules, they can bribe it away. sadly there are many of these fellow south africans around mozambique. we currently have a similar problem of an australian up in pemba who also speculates with land and think he is above the law. the sad thing is, unconfirmed information i received from other ex pats is that these people in bilene are completely in the wrong. first the law in mozambique states that when you get your land, you must do the preposed project in 2 years. second it must be a business project, not a holiday house. you must do a tourist project, with an active company, that pays vat, salestax workers compensation and income tax. the rule also apply that for every foreign worker owner there must be 8 local employees. these people stated that they are 15 share holders and 30 workers. there should be 120 workers. there project should have been finished in 1996. problem is that this is a own private play plase witch is not accepted by the law, from day 1. and you can not sell pieces of the land off with out permission. i am sorry to stay but like many other south africans in mozambique, these people did not work according to the law, and its time these arrogant south africans get kicked out as they do not contribute to mozambique.see the next commen

  • pembaforeignbusiness chamber - 2011-07-26 22:26

    i am not a liberal i am from the noord transvaal and was a kp and vryheidsfront man. if you act according to the laws in mozambique and treat people fair (you dont have to be a boetie) this is a great place to do business and invest. i hope that the high commission do not support a case with out doing its homework. and the days in mozambique is gone where police just kick people out or arrest them. if the police acted unlawfull they will be held accountable. bad south africans bad attitude think you above the law, dont come here. the rest this is the place to be if you live in the law. it has its own diffrent challenges, but i dont think after 10 years that i will return to sa. if you do your homework no prob in moz. if any body have questions i am always willing to supply advise.

      debfran - 2011-08-03 08:38

      I wish you would send these points to the major newspaper groups (Naspers/Media24) in South Africa. The media there printed these sensationalist headlines about land being grabbed, etc, and it only puts the fear into all the prospective tourists and potential investors from SA that we encourage to holiday in Mozambique.. (Moz.Lodgeowner for the past 16years)

  • cgtours - 2011-07-26 22:59

    We have lived in many many Countries-my husband having been with a Major International Airline etc and myself in Tourism for many years. The Laws of the Country must be obeyed- similar problems for instance in Far East we were for for a long time, People putting upfront Company s all in the name of Tourism and then trying all sorts of schemes etc.Do not query the Mozambican Government until the full story comes out ! There is more to it. Mozambican Government in comparison to many Countries, ( I am not going to name them here) Tourist Countries, has been really trying their utmost to develop their tourist industry to what is was before the war- not only to that level, but to what it could be-! 100% more.!The Government knows what it could mean to their Country!!Elimination of Poverty/jobs/growing their ecomony! For that to happen: SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY is the MOST important!NO TOURIST FROM NO COUNTRY IS going to travel anywhere and then still PAY to get robbed/mugged/hijacked/raped or possibly killed-no matter if the accommodation is five star/streets of gold or a blooming camping tent! So I do NOT think, the Government of Mozambique has not considered this, because if this is starting to happen- all the Airlines/Travel Agents/Embassies/ will STOP PROMOTING AND START ISSUEING TRAVEL WARNINGS !!CRIME IS STARTING TO HAVE THAT EFFECT IN certain parts of SOUTH aFRICA and it is going to get worse! I can assure you the World is waiting and watching already! An EMPTY PARADISE`?

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