Keen interest in SA man’s terror case
Publish date: 07 January 2019
Issue Number: 805
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
A battle for access to Mozambique's offshore gas fields is believed to be behind efforts have South African maritime businessman Andre Hanekom arrested on terrorism charges. A Mail & Guardian Online report notes that he and Tanzanian nationals Chafim Mussa and Adamu Yanhgue are accused of supporting a jihadist group that wanted to create an independent state in gas-rich Cabo Delgado region. Hanekom who owns a slipway and maritime logistics company in the Cabo Delgado, was arrested in August last year after policemen forced him off the road. He was shot him in the arm and stomach and briefly hospitalised. The Sunday Times reports that the officers initially claimed they were holding him for his own safety after rescuing him from kidnappers linked to Ahlu Sunnah Wa-Jama which allegedly wants Cabo Delgado to be a separatist state. Despite being granted bail on 9 October, Hanekom has still not been released. He is due to appear in court again this week. Hanekom and his two business partners secured lucrative contracts with multinational energy companies vying for access to the gas fields. Hanekom’s wife Francis petitioned the SA government and Mozambican police to secure his release, claiming he had been framed and ‘influential people desire his beach-front property’. International Relations and Cooperation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said South African citizens cannot support activities that destabilise other nations. The report notes that international exploration companies are scrambling over gas fields in the region which has been gripped by violence over the past two years. According to AFP, more than 100 people have been murdered since 2017 and villages, police stations and mosques have been destroyed.