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South African man feared kidnapped in Mozambique

By News24 3 August 2018
Caption
Mozambican forces of the Rapid Intervention Unit (UIR) and the Special Operating Group (GOE) secure a street during the arrest of guards of the oppositional Mozambican National Resistance (Renamo) party within a raid of the home of Renamo president Afonso Dhlakama, in Beira, central Mozambique, 09 October 2015. EPA/ANDRE CATUEIRA

A South African man is feared to have been shot and injured before he was abducted in Mozambique.

Another South African, who is a member of the Mozambique Foreign Business Chamber, told News24 on Thursday that Andre Hanekom, who has lived in Mozambique for 23 years, was allegedly abducted on Wednesday.

“We have received news of an abduction and kidnapping of a South African national just north of Palma town, Cabo Delgado Province in Mozambique,” said the business chamber member who preferred to be identified only as Mr Strydom for safety reasons.

Strydom, whose name is known to News24, said the incident took place in the parking area of the Amarula Hotel just north of the town of Palma.

“Hanekom was wounded in the arm with an AK-47. He was then placed in the boot of a car and removed from the site,” he said, adding that they had established this information as fact.

While there had been allegations that a police officer might have been involved in the incident, he said the person who shot Hanekom was not dressed in police uniform and the vehicle that removed him was also not a marked police vehicle.

“We have, from the Foreign Business Chamber side, made contact with the Palma police, who denied having him in custody. We have with great difficulty made contact with medical facilities in the area and we established that he is not in any of them,” he said.

Strydom said speculation was that Hanekom may have had issues with some local residents.

“It is alleged that a serving member of the police in his personal capacity abducted Mr Hanekom. However, this is all speculation,” he said.

He said they feared for Hanekom’s life, as an untreated gun wound might “lead to severe infection and death”.

“The South African High Commission has been unhelpful and uninterested at this stage. Authorities need to act immediately to ensure that this matter is handled in an appropriate and legitimate manner. We urge the Mozambique police and South African government to act and assist in this matter,” Strydom added.

Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) spokesperson Ndivhuwo Mabaya would only say the department was still waiting for the embassy to confirm details around the incident.

“We still don’t have that information. We have sent a request to the embassy to confirm,” he said.

On Friday, Hanekom’s daughter Amanda confirmed to News24 that Hanekom had been abducted. DM

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