Slidell man’s charges dropped

Published 7:37 pm Saturday, December 1, 2012

Elton Mark McCabe, 52, should soon be reunited with his family in Slidell after a judge in South Sudan decided to drop what has been deemed “false allegations” from the very beginning after security forces arrested the man Oct. 14.

Mark McCabe will make a final court appearance on Thursday. According to Anne McCabe, the man’s wife, once the Minister of Justice finalizes paperwork Mark McCabe should be on his way back home.

“Mark has been re-leased and they dropped all the charges. December 6th is court date to finalize everything. After all that is done hopefully we can get him on a plane home,” Anne McCabe said when reached by phone Thursday afternoon.

To Mark McCabe’s wife, it has been a long hard vocal battle… a fight that shouldn’t have taken place at all.

“I’m ecstatic… we’re all happy,” Anne McCabe said. “They’ve already stolen all of his time and life away from us. And if this is what it takes, waiting till December 6th to get him home; that’s what we’ll do.”

Meanwhile, Mark McCabe will remain at the U.S. Embassy in the Republic of South Sudan until officials can safely bring him home.

According to Anne McCabe, her husband had a massive heart attack in December 2011 and had a hard time finding work locally due to his medical condition. There weren’t many jobs on the table so when a friend of Mark McCabe’s told him it “was like the gold rush” in South Sudan, the two traveled to the African continent in order to attend a business summit. When nothing came out of the business summit, Mark McCabe headed home. He decided to head to South Sudan again in August.

“They were getting ready to start an Internet company… help get an Internet company up and running,” Anne McCabe previously said.

On Oct. 14, Mark McCabe was arrested by South Sudan security forces for allegedly being in connection with the kidnapping of an Indian businessman.

Sen. David Vitter, R-La., has been extremely vocal during the matter and has sent numerous letters and requests to South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit urging him and his government to afford Mark McCabe his humanitarian rights along with due process.

“Completely false accusations,” Vitter told St. Tammany News partner WDSU after the arrest in South Sudan.

In a written statement to Kiir, Vitter wrote, “The U.S. Congress has taken note of this and other recent violations of human rights by elements of your government. Congress joins the rest of the U.S. government and the international community in urging South Sudan to respect the human rights of both its own citizens and foreigners.”

Anne McCabe says she will be forever grateful for Vitter’s efforts to protect her husband.

“What he’s done is priceless. He didn’t have to do any of it. He choose to do it and that goes a million miles,” she said of the Senator. “Everybody has been writing me saying how can we thank this man for everything he’s done.”

Vitter told the South Sudan government repeatedly that there was no substantial evidence for holding “his constituent.”

While detained in prison, Mark McCabe suffered a mild heart attack. He was transferred to a local clinic in Juba rather than have been brought to Nairobi, Kenya, which was at the request of a physician.

According to Anne McCabe, her husband’s health declined while detained in South Sudan. He’s lost about 20 to 30 pounds, she said.

The McCabe family has struggled while Mark has been overseas and in an effort to raise money for the bills and her husband’s future rehabilitation, Anne McCabe says they’re raffling off a size four Oleg Cassini wedding dress.

Raffle tickets are $10 each and can be purchased at two locations in Slidell, including: decoupage salon and spa, 220 Florida Avenue; and B Beautiful Hair Studio, 628 Robert Blvd.

Anne McCabe says there is also a trust fund set up at Chase bank titled the ”Elton Mark McCabe Trust.” Anyone can donate by calling 646-3500.