South Africans try to sell island

2010-07-02 21:17

Maputa - A company jointly-owned by South Africans is suspected of selling a Mozambican island illegally off the country's northern coast, according to media reports on Friday.

Mozambique's prosecuting authority was investigating the company, owned by two South Africans and a Mozambican national, for advertising to sell Congo Island in Cabo Delgado province for $900 000 (R6.8m), reported independent weekly Savana.

All land in Mozambique was government-owned. It could only be leased for set periods of time, with renewable periods afterwards.

The selling of the 7.25 million square meter island would therefore be illegal. It was advertised on the International Real Estate Listings website on June 6, the newspaper reported.

Part of the Quirimbas island chain, Congo island was home to 211 people, most of them fishermen unaware their island was for sale.

“We saw some whites climb off a boat, but they did not talk to anyone,” one of the locals told state newspaper Noticias.

The company was granted a permit to exploit the island for tourism purposes in 2008. Foreigners could only lease land for two years at a time. The company's permit would expire in September. No developments had been made since the initial granting of the lease.

The Mozambican coast was popular with South African holiday-makers. Many South Africans managed or owned resorts on the country's pristine beaches.

- Sapa

  • Dennis - 2010-07-02 22:50

    Who on earth, in their right mind, would invest millions in a tourist venture with only a two year lease?? The Mocambique government must be one sandwich short of a picnic!! There are far better place in the world to do business.

  • Walt - 2010-07-03 07:13

    Another unscrupulous bunch of Soth Africans trying to do the dirty on some unsuspecting people! Good story for Noseweek?

  • slimey - 2010-07-03 07:39

    Couple of Beers short of a 6 pack! DOFF!!!!!!

  • ROB LOBLAW - 2010-07-03 07:55

    @ Dennis...this is Africa so there is a very short supply of sanity. mozambique is amongst the five poorest countries in the world and yet the government wont sell the land to foreign investors...crazy but this Africa!!

  • Piet Lombard - 2010-07-03 08:06

    Anybody interested in the Voortrekker Monument?

  • jonathan - 2010-07-03 09:14

    its just greedy people trying to trap investors into losing millions, dennis if you were part of what that country has been through, then you,d understand the reasons behind the government owning the land.AND ITS ACTUALLY A GOOD IDEA, ESPECIALLY TO PREVENT GREEDY CORRUPT SOUTH AFRICANS EXPLOITING THE OPPURTUNITIES

  • Ashanzi - 2010-07-03 09:46

    What a way to discourage investment - which Africa desperately needs! What is with this stupid "government owns all land" policy - Africa will NEVER alleviate poverty while they adopt stupid policies.

  • ss - 2010-07-03 10:13

    Well they are fraudulently selling municipal properties in Gauteng. Expose the names of these people, maybe its the same people.

  • PennysWorth - 2010-07-05 10:07

    If you want to make a small fortune in Mocambique, you need to start with a Big fortune.

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