MAPUTO, Mozambique (AP) _ A South African foreign ministry official was released from jail today after being detained in Mozambique for six months on gunrunning and espionage charges.

Robert McBride and six others being held on similar charges were also released. McBride was met by his wife, Paula, and planned to return to South Africa.

``Obviously, I am very happy,'' McBride said. He said he would return to Mozambique if required. The case is still pending.

McBride has said he was conducting a private investigation of gun smuggling when he was arrested in March in Mozambique, allegedly with a load of assault rifles and thousands of dollars in cash.

The South African government said McBride was not on official business at the time. He has since been suspended from his job as director of the foreign ministry's Asian desk.