Johannesburg - A South African man has spent the last three months in a Mozambican prison because he could not afford his hotel bill, the Beeld reported on Saturday.
Department of International Relations spokesman Nelson Kgwete told the 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.
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. - Sapa