24 January 2019

South African Andre Hanekom, Arrested for Alleged Jihadist Activity, Dies in Prison - Family Suspects 'Poison'

Photo: Twitter
Andre Hanekom.
analysis

Andre Mayer Hanekom, the South African professional hunter and fisherman accused by Mozambique of complicity in a jihadist insurgency, died in a prison hospital in Pemba in the far north of the country on Wednesday.

A person close to his family told Daily Maverick that his family suspected that Andre Hanekom might have been poisoned.

The South African government confirmed Hanekom's death. Ndivhuwo Mabaya, a spokesperson for International Relations and Co-operation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, said the department had heard of his death from his wife Francis but not yet from Mozambican authorities.

He said Sisulu had directed South Africa's High Commissioner to Mozambique, Mandisi Mpahlwa, to engage the Mozambican authorities on the circumstances of his death.

"We are shocked as you are," Mabaya said, saying that Mpahlwa had travelled from Maputo to Pemba in the country's northernmost province Cabo Delgado last Thursday to see Hanekom in prison and that he seemed well.

But Hanekom suddenly fell ill the very next day, on Friday, according to a knowledgeable source. Hanekom's wife had reported that Andre had started having convulsions early on Friday evening and had been taken from his prison cell to the prison hospital.

On Friday night he had fallen...

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