Fight over gas fields behind 'plot' to charge SA man with terrorism

06 January 2019 - 00:28 By Jeff Wicks and Graeme Hosken
Francis Hanekom and her husband Andre.
Francis Hanekom and her husband Andre.
Image: Facebook/Francis Hanekom

A battle for a stake in Mozambique’s lucrative offshore gas fields is believed to be behind the arrest of South African businessman Andre Hanekom.

Hanekom, 61, known as baba mzungubaba mgungu (white father) to locals in the coastal hamlet of Palma in northern Mozambique, has been in custody for five months despite a magistrate granting him bail in October.

He is charged with terrorism following his dramatic arrest last August in which he was shot in the arm and stomach by officers wearing camouflage uniforms and balaclavas.

Security risk analysts, as well as those who know him, have dismissed claims that he is involved in terror attacks linked to the extremist group, Ahlu Sunnah Wa-Jama, as claimed by authorities. Instead, many say his logistics company and lucrative slipway, which have landed him lucrative deals with international gas companies, have made him a target for those wanting to muscle in on the gas exploration industry.

Read the full story in the Sunday Times.