Cape Town – The legal representative for Chloe Collins, who is being detained in Oman without having been charged, said senior leadership at the Department of International Relations (Dirco) has been in touch with the family and has launched an investigation into the 23-year-old’s detention.
Simone Carolissen said this came about as the Omani government said Collins’s brother was a person of interest in the death of a taxi driver.
“We are told that Chloe has been in police custody as she allegedly ‘allowed’ her brother to come home.
“At this stage, it is confirmed that no charges have been filed against Chloe, or her brother, and no extradition request has been formally supplied to our government for her brother.
“We are told Chloe will appear in court in September,” Carolissen said.
Collins and her brother, from Kraaifontein, arrived in Oman in April to work in the hospitality industry.
The brother, whose name is being withheld at the family’s request, left Oman shortly thereafter.
He is diagnosed with schizophrenia and is receiving treatment in a psychiatric institution in South Africa.
Fewer than three weeks after arriving in Oman, Collins was detained by authorities and, until Tuesday, details of her detention were unclear to her family.
Carolissen said on Tuesday: “After many weeks of silence, senior leadership at Dirco have been in touch with us and have launched a formal investigation into Chloe’s detention.
“A lawyer in Oman has also reached out and may offer some pro bono time.
“The government of Oman has officially advised Dirco that Chloe’s brother is a person of interest in the death of a taxi driver.
“Chloe’s family only know that her brother was sent home by their employer following a mental breakdown.
“Chloe comes from a modest background. As far as we know, Chloe did not have the money to facilitate her brother’s travel home.
“We are still awaiting the formal document to confirm the verbal feedback from Dirco,” Carolissen said.
Multiple requests for comment from the Omani Embassy in Pretoria went unanswered yesterday.
Requests to the South African Embassy in Oman were not answered by deadline.
On Monday, Dirco spokesperson Lunga Ngqengelele said the Omani government had informed the South African Embassy in Muscat of Chloe’s detention and it would stay in contact regarding certain administrative matters.
On Tuesday, Ngqengelele said there was no update.