An 9.5 kg bag of the crystals was discovered at Peter Parnell’s apartment during a search, leading to him being arrested and held at the notorious Pollsmoor prison, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned.

However, tests later revealed that the bag, which would have been worth £900,000 if it were crystal meth, was in fact just bath salts.

David Mbzwana, Parnell’s lawyer, said: “Peter has had a very tough time. The whole thing was a complete mess.

“He had arrived in December in South Africa. His fiancée lives here. He now is due to leave for Britain as soon as possible, and hopes to put the whole thing behind him.

“He was held in conditions that are not fit for humans – a prison room that is meant to hold 20 men may be filled with 60.

“Peter’s head was in a mess when he came out – it disturbed him deeply. It is just such a relief that no charges were brought. It was ridiculous.”

To compound matters Parnell was rearrested on his release because his visa had expired while he was in prison.

Mbzwana said: “Immigration officials said Peter had broken the law because he was meant to leave by March 8, but at that time he was behind bars. This was not his fault.”

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