Family of SA man in Mozambique say he is being held illegally - report

2019-01-08 12:50
André Hanekom. (Facebook)

André Hanekom. (Facebook)

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The family of a South African man say he is being held illegally in Mozambique, according to Netwerk24.

Netwerk24 spoke to Andre Hanekom's daughter, Andrie, on Monday and she said that formal charges had not being laid against her father. 

On December 31, Hanekom and two Tanzanians were arrested and were named by Mozambican authorities as allegedly being part of a jihadist group operating in the region.

According to AFP, the group faces charges, including murder and crimes against the state.

Hanekom, allegedly, was responsible for the logistics of the group and was shot while trying to resist arrest in August. Weapons were reportedly found at his home.

Hanekom's daughter told Netwerk that the family believes that influential people are misusing the Mozambican police, as they want to get their hands on his beach property in Palma, in the northern province of Cabo Delgado. 

Hanekom and his wife, Francis, have lived in the region for 26 years. 

Disappearance

South African authorities told News24 in October that Hanekom had been arrested after his family could not trace him for a second time last year. 

In August, when he first disappeared, his family located him in a rural hospital in Mozambique. According to his daughter Amanda, Hanekom had been hospitalised for a few weeks before police arrested him. She said he was facing terrorism charges. 

"They said they saw someone looking like my dad walking in the bush. but we had proof that at the time he was not even there," Amanda said. 

Jasmine Opperman, director at the Terrorism Research and Analysis Consortium, told the Citizen that Hanekom did not fit the profile of a terrorist. 

She told the newspaper that what they had found on him, you would find on any farm in the area. She added that there was also no indication of any intentional involvement in any of the al-Shabaab groups. 

Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) spokesperson Ndivhuwo Mabaya told Netwerk24 that Hanekom would need to subject himself to Mozambique's legal system, and that South African authorities could only ensure that he was treated properly. 

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Read more on:    mozambique  |  southern africa  |  crime
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