S.African ‘jihadist’ who died in Mozambique repatriated
The body of a South African man who died in northern Mozambique after being detained for suspected “jihadist” activities in the gas-rich region was repatriated on Thursday for further autopsies, his wife said.
he body of a South African man who died in northern Mozambique after being detained for suspected “jihadist” activities in the gas-rich region was repatriated on Thursday for further autopsies, his wife said.
Andre Hanekom, 61, died last week in a hospital in the northern town of Palma where he was admitted on January 19 after reportedly having convulsions and bleeding under the skin.
“We got him out. We managed to get through to South Africa,” his widow Francis Hanekom told AFP adding that she had to fight to get her husband’s body back.
“Tomorrow we will start with the arrangements for the autopsy.”
Hanekom, who ran a maritime business in the northern Mozambique town of Palma, was arrested in August alongside two locals and two Tanzanians, with prosecutors accusing them of being part of a jihadist group.
All five faced a string of charges, including murder, crimes against the state and inciting civil disobedience.
Jihadist fighters have terrorised remote communities in the Muslim-majority Cabo Delgado region for more than a year, staging brazen gun and knife attacks on civilians leaving over 100 killed and thousands fleeing their homes.
Hanekom’s wife has requested an independent autopsy in South Africa as she suspected he had been poisoned.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) also labelled his death as “suspicious”.
“The authorities should establish the cause of Hanekom’s death and provide the details and autopsy report to his family,” HRW director Dewa Mavhinga said in a statement.
According to the widow, his body had been embalmed with formaldehyde, which could destroy some of the poison she suspects killed him.