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Dirco to assist SA man detained in Mozambique for being alleged jihadist leader

Andre Hanekom and two Tanzanian nationals have been charged with murder, crimes against the state and inciting civil disobedience.

Andre Hanekom. Picture: Facebook/Francis Hanekom

JOHANNESBURG - The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) says it will be assisting 60-year-old South African Andre Hanekom who is in a Mozambique prison for allegedly being a jihadist leader.

Hanekom and two Tanzanian nationals have been charged with murder, crimes against the state and inciting civil disobedience.

However, Hanekom's wife says her husband is being framed.

Minister Lindiwe Sisulu says she’s concerned about South Africans involved in criminal activities that destabilise democratically elected states.

Spokesperson Ndivhuwo Mabaya said: “South Africans can’t then be people who are involved in activities like this. The minister has engaged with the high commissioner in Mozambique to indicate to the authorities that we are looking at other allegations that there are people in South Africa who have been aiding Mr Hanekom.”

Jasmine Opperman from Africa Terrorism Research and Analysis Consortium has warned against calling Hanekom an extremist yet: “There’s simply no indication of extremism or a conviction to extremists. Providing arms intentionally to destabilise the region will serve no interest to him [Hanekom]. Could he have been unintentionally involved in dealings, that now he’s been traced back to some of his cell members? Yes, we’ll have to wait for the court to prove this.”

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)

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