/ 2 January 2019

SA man accused of terror-related activities in Mozambique to appear in court

In October
In October, Hanekom’s wife Francis petitioned the South African government and Mozambican police to work towards releasing her husband. (Facebook)

According to department of international relations and cooperation spokesperson Ndivhuwo Mabaya, Andre Meyer Hanekom — a South African citizen — is expected to appear in a Mozambican court this month. He is accused of supporting and aiding terrorist activities in northern Mozambique.

According to media reports, Hanekom will appear alongside Tanzanian nationals Chafim Mussa and Adamu Nhaungwa Yanhgue.

The three have been accused of supporting a jihadist group that wanted to create an independent state in gas-rich Cabo Delgado region, according to Mozambican authorities.

News agency AFP reported that Hanekom was formally arrested in August after being seized by military personnel from a restaurant in Pamla. Known as ‘baba mzungo’ or “white father”, Hanekom was allegedly responsible for logistics in terror-related activities.

This is not Hanekom’s first appearance in Mozambican courts. According to Mabaya: “He has appeared in court three or four times before.”

READ MORE: Mozambique’s mysterious insurgency

In October, Hanekom’s wife Francis petitioned the South African government and Mozambican police to work towards releasing her husband. At the time, Francis had said her husband had been wrongfully arrested, and he was being framed.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday, Francis defended her husband, claiming that Hanekom’s arrest was because “influential people desire Andre’s property on the beach.”

“Lies will catch up, and those who laugh last, have the best laugh, after all,” she wrote.

Hanekom’s daughter, Amanda, also posted on Facebook saying that the family planned to win the court case.

International relations and cooperation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu called on authorities to investigate terror-related charges involving a 60-year-old South African man arrested in Mozambique

Hanekom was released on bail in October, but was sent to another station before he was returned home, News 24 reported.

As South Africa assumed its seat as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday, Mabaya said that South African citizens should not be seen to be supporting activities that destabilise another nation: “It can’t be a South African who is involved in activities in our neighbouring countries that seeks to destabilise that country. Even though these are allegations, any activities of this kind should not be done by any South Africans.”

“We should be agents of economic change,” said Mabaya, adding that citizens should act in an exemplary manner in the promotion of peace and security on the continent.”

Because of South Africa’s deep ties with Mozambique, it has urged local authorities to support Mozambican police.

Mabaya said Dirco would continue to give Hanekom support from its consulate in Mozambique, and it would investigate the allegations that there were South Africans who have aided terror-related activities in Mozambique.

Sisulu has raised concerns over the 800 South Africans who are incarcerated throughout the globe for crimes related to fraud, drug possession and violent crime.

This article has been amended to reflect updated comment from Hanekom’s wife and daughter.