Businessman cleared to leave South Sudan

A South Sudan judicial official signed paperwork clearing the way for Slidell businessman Elton “Mark’’ McCabe to leave the country where he has been detained since mid-October, according to his wife.

“They signed the paper without a hitch,’’ Anne McCabe said Thursday.

Elton McCabe, who went to South Sudan in August to develop clinics and Internet infrastructure, was seized by that country’s National Security Service on Oct. 14.

He was imprisoned for more than a month before being released on bail at a Nov. 22 hearing.

The hearing resumed a week later, and at that point the judge threw out the case, according to Anne McCabe and U.S. Sen. David Vitter’s office.

The NSS has accused McCabe and his business partner of plotting to kidnap an Indian businessman.

McCabe’s return home hinged on getting the paperwork signed by the country’s minister of justice, his wife said. But she did not have any information on when her husband would be leaving South Sudan for home.

“It’s been three months,’’ she said. “I can’t wait to get him home.’’

McCabe’s family has been anxious about him partly because of his health. He suffered a major heart attack a year ago and had a mild heart attack while in custody, his wife said. He also lost 40 to 50 pounds.

She said he has been doing better since he was released on bail.

“He’s bounced back really quickly,’’ she said. “As he says, he’s a tough SOB.”