South African businessman Andre Hanekom and his wife, Francis

Johannesburg – The Department of International Cooperation and Relations (Dirco) wants answers as to the circumstances surrounding the death of South African businessman Andre Hanekom while in Mozambican custody.

Dirco spokesperson Ndivhuwo Mabaya said that Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has directed the South African High Commissioner in Mozambique, Mandisi Mpahlwa, to engage with Maputo so as to get to the bottom of the 61-year-old’s death.

Hanekom died on Wednesday morning.

Mabaya said the department was also engaging with the high commissioner to ensure that the family was assisted with obtaining his body. Dirco says it will release more details in the coming days regarding the matter.

Hanekom was facing a number of charges while in custody after he was arrested at the end of December, together with two Tanzanians. Maputo alleges that the businessman was part of a jihadist group operating in the region.

Last August Hanekom, who owns the Marina in Palma marina and has lived in Mozambique for more than 26-years, was chased down by four unknown men and shot several times before he was thrown into the back of their vehicle, which drove off with him. 

Reports later said the men were from the Mozambican military.

His wife Francis denied that her husband had any links to terrorism and said the whole thing was a ploy to take over his business. She suspects her husband may have been poisoned because he "was bleeding under the skin".

African News Agency (ANA)