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South African businessman Andre Hanekom, who passed away on January 23 while detained by police in northern Mozambique, died of “natural causes,” authorities said.
“The autopsy clearly indicates that the South African had a natural or unprovoked death,” said Armando Wilson, a spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office in Pemba, the provincial capital of Cabo Delgado.
According to Wilson, the examination carried out at the Pemba Hospital at the request of the prosecutor’s office concluded that Hanekom suffered from encephalitis and died from a stroke.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Thursday called for an investigation into his death, which came after five months of unlawful detention on accusations dubbed “absurd” by family and friends, and which it called “suspicious”.
The deceased’s wife, Francis Hanekom, said on Thursday that the remains had been transferred to South Africa for a new autopsy.
A source close to relatives told Lusa that Hanekom “started bleeding from the stomach at the weekend [before dying]”, and that “the family suspected that he had been poisoned because he was in convulsions”.
Andre Hanekom was suspected of being one of the instigators of the armed attacks in northern Mozambique which have killed 150 people over the past year, while the family claims he was the victim of machinations by powerful individuals interested in the family’s coastal properties.Source: Lusa