Hanekom receiving legal help from state
[email protected] THE Department of International Relations and Co-operation (Dirco) has reiterated that it will continue offering consular services to South African businessman André Hanekom who is detained in Mozambique over charges of leading a group of extremists operating in the neighbouring country.
Yesterday, Dirco spokesperson Ndivhuwo Mabaya said the ministry was still responsible for aiding him with any legal help he requires. Hanekom and two other Tanzanian nationals are facing charge of murder, crimes against the state and inciting civil disobedience.
This week, Hanekom’s wife, Francis, denied that he had been involved in dubious activities, saying that he was framed and that the arrests were part of attempts to dispossess him of his beach property in Mozambique.
However, Mabaya said in light of the serious charges Hanekom faces, the department, through South African High Commissioner to Mozambique Mandisi Mpahlwa, would keep a close eye on the court proceedings.
“Ours is to ensure that the case is fair and conducted (in an) appropriate manner,” he said.
Earlier, Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said: “The people of South Africa and Mozambique share a very deep political history and very strong economic relations. It is not acceptable that a South African citizen is in court for alleged involvement in extreme jihadist activities that resulted in loss of life. South African citizens should spread love and peace across the SADC area, continent and the world.”
Meanwhile, Mabaya also revealed that, over the festive season, Dirco had received up to six requests by individuals for consular aid from many parts of the world. These, he said, ranged from people needing to speak to their family members to a person requesting that the department help with an expired visa.
It’s been revealed that more than 800 South Africans are languishing in prisons abroad.
Mabaya said South Africans needed to understand that Dirco’s ability to help them was limited.
“If you are arrested in London today and need us to help you get in touch with your family or lawyer, we will extend a phone line for those purposes. However, over time we have received requests by some people in prisons abroad for us to bring their children to visit them, while others have asked for their traditional doctors to be transported to where they are.
“Unfortunately, we don’t provide those services,” he said.
Last year, South African and former al-qaeda prisoner Stephen Mcgowan warned that anyone who travelled out of the country had to be vigilant and not trust anyone. Mcgowan was speaking at Dirco headquarters in Pretoria where he marked one year since he was freed by the extremist group in August 2017. AS VIOLENT protests over an ailing economy and the rocketing prices of everyday goods continue across the country, Sudan’s security forces are cracking down on opposition activists and critical journalists.
Many of those targeted have gone underground after a wave of arrests on Thursday and earlier last week, the Sudan Tribune reported.
Faisal Mohamed Salih, a journalist and commentator associated with the Sudanese Professional Association, was taken from his office in the capital, Khartoum, on Thursday by three security agents who said he was wanted at security service headquarters.
Salih, a regular critic of Khartoum, won the Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism in 2013, and had said on his Facebook page he was proud of the protests that erupted in Port Sudan on Thursday.
Also netted in the security crackdown were former foreign minister Ibrahim Taha Ayoub, Hassan Abdel Atti, a former professor at Khartoum University, Montasser al-tayeb, a lecturer at Khartoum University’s Faculty of Medicine and journalist Qureshi Awad from Al Midan newspaper, organ of the Sudanese Communist Party.
All four were critics of the government of President Omar al-bashir. |