Aristide and his wife Mildred arrived in Jamaica on March 15.
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa —
Aristide was scheduled to leave Jamaica on Sunday afternoon with his family and bodyguards, and was due to arrive in South Africa on Monday.
President Thabo Mbeki would be at Johannesburg International Airport to welcome them when they arrive Monday afternoon, the government said in a statement Sunday.
“Hosting Jean-Bertrand Aristide here in South Africa is a mistake, and the South African government should know it,” said Parliament representative Douglas Gibson, the opposition Democratic Alliance’s spokesman on foreign affairs.
“Ordinary South Africans cannot fathom why they must pay to put up the former Haitian leader along with his delegation. Mr. Aristide should go home,” The Associated Press reported him as saying.
Aristide was given permission to stay in South Africa earlier this month until the situation in his own volatile country returned to stability.
The South African government said it would accede to a request by the African Union and the Caribbean Community for Aristide to move to the country from Jamaica.
Aristide left Haiti amid a rebel advance on the capital, Port-au-Prince on February 29 for the Central African Republic. From there he went to Jamaica in mid-March, which offered to let him stay for up to 10 weeks.
France and the United States were consulted about the move to South Africa and agreed to the arrangement.
The South African government will be responsible for Aristide’s residence and upkeep while he lives in the country with his wife and children, according to Cabinet spokesman Joel Netshitenzhe — a move that has angered opposition groups.
“The South African government has still not explained under what legal authority Mr. Aristide is being granted entry into our country,” Gibson said in a statement.
“We need to know whether other nations will help finance his stay, or whether the South African taxpayer will be left with the bill.”
He said the government should have focused on crises closer to home, including in Zimbabwe and Sudan, and on its own impoverished people.
“Haiti is so far beyond our sphere of influence, we should have left the matter to other nations,” Gibson said.
Jamaica’s decision to host Aristide angered Washington and Haiti’s U.S.-back interim government, which said his return to the Caribbean could destabilize Haiti, just 160 kilometers (100 miles) east of Jamaica.
A caretaker administration is running the impoverished country pending elections next year.
Aristide has recently been staying at a tightly secured government-owned villa in the rural parish of St. Ann in Jamaica.
CNN Johannesburg Bureau Chief Charlayne Hunter-Gault contributed to this report.