The South African government treads exceedingly carefully when it comes to allegations being levelled against fellow African governments – a solidarity that is deeply embedded in the DNA of the Organisation of African Unity and its successor, the African Union.
So we won’t hold our breath in expectation that the Union Buildings will put any pressure on the government in Mozambique to get to the bottom of the mysterious death of Andre Hanekom, a South African who was detained in that country on allegations of terrorism.
Hanekom was picked up on New Year’s Eve in the northern town of Palma in Mozambique, by a group of hooded, armed men, who shot him before taking him away. Two Tanzanians were arrested at the same time and the Mozambicans claimed the men were plotting terrorism.
Without wanting to judge matters and while acknowledging there is an Islamic terror threat in the north of Mozambique, we ask: a white Afrikaner working with Muslim extremists – does that sound likely?
A bitter business dispute (which is what his wife says led to the arrest) where Hanekom’s partners are after his property … that sounds more likely.
But the bottom line is that a South African citizen is dead and we need answers.