Hundreds of South Africans caged in foreign jails

by AKANI CHAUKE / ARIMANDO DOMINGOS PRETORIA, (CAJ News) – SOME 800 South Africans are scattered in prisons across the world.

South African Foreign Affairs minister Lindiwe Sisulu

International Relations and Cooperation Minister, Lindiwe Sisulu, disclosed the figures as it emerged a South African was allegedly involved in extremist activities in neighbouring Mozambique.

The minister noted the hundreds of her compatriots were in prisons across the world for different crimes including fraud, drug possession and violent crimes, with the majority in the Americas for drug-related  convictions.

“We are very concerned about South Africans in prisons across the world but we are specifically concerned about South Africans who are involved in crimes and activities that seek to destabilise democratically-elected states (Mozambique),” Sisulu said.

She appealed to South Africans to promote peace and enhance economic development and political stability in the countries they visited or lived in.

This week, Mozambican authorities confirmed a South African, Andre Mayer Hanekom, was among suspects accused of aiding an extreme jihadist group that is destabilising the northern part of Mozambique, resulting in the deaths of over 100 people.

Sisulu has requested South African law enforcement agencies to also investigate the charges.

The accusations against Hanekom coincided with South Africa taking up its non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for a two-year term.

The issue of extremist groups operating on the continent will be high on the agenda.

“The fact that South Africans are alleged to be involved makes this a very important and urgent matter for our law enforcement agencies in the region and on the continent,” Sisulu said.

– CAJ News

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