SA man 'kidnapped' in Moz 'doing well', transferred to provincial hospital

André Hanekom, the South African who was seemingly shot and kidnapped in Palma, Mozambique, on August 1 was on Monday airlifted by the military in that country to Pemba Provincial Hospital.

Hanekom was initially being treated at a rural hospital in Mueda, approximately three hours' drive from Palma, where he owns a local business. He has lived in Mozambique for 26 years.

"My dad is doing well," his daughter, Amanda, told News24 on Tuesday. Amanda said that Hanekom would receive better care at Pemba, as it was better equipped to treat his injuries, which include bullet wounds and a broken arm, not leg, as previously thought.

After being missing for two days, Hanekom's wife, Francis, was informed that police had located Hanekom in Mueda.

Not wanting to drive at night for fear of her own safety, Francis undertook the drive to Mueda on Friday morning, where she found Hanekom alive and receiving medical treatment under medical guard.

On Friday, Amanda told News24 it appeared Hanekom had been rescued in a military operation. 

Chased, shot and kidnapped

On Wednesday afternoon, Hanekom was allegedly chased by four men wearing balaclavas to the parking area of the Amarula Hotel near Palma, then shot with an AK-47 assault rifle and driven off in the back of a brown Toyota Land Cruiser with the word "Safari" written on its side.

It has not yet been established who had kidnapped him, or why.

Francis told News24 that Hanekom had been transferred to allow him access to an orthopaedic surgeon.

"The rural hospital only has a normal surgeon, who did a quick fix.

"But fortunately there have been no complications or damage to his internal organs," she said.

"He is still very weak but he is eating and recovering."

Francis says Hanekom appears to be okay at face value, but that the incident has "rattled him".

Still fearing for his life

"He is being kept under police protection as it is believed that his life might still be in danger."

Francis drove to Mueda from Palma every day to see Hanekom in hospital.

"I think I've slept three hours in six days."

On one such trip, the couple's car's CV joint failed and had to be repaired by a streetside mechanic at Mocímboa da Praia.

According to Francis, the damage to the CV joint must have occurred when Hanekom was being chased by his alleged kidnappers.

"He had to turn to the left very sharply to enter the gate at the hotel [where he was attacked]."

Pemba is situated about 430km from Palma, where Francis has returned to look after the couple's business interests.

"But at least he's not in the middle of the bush any more. His friends can pop by and bring him essentials such as soap, toothpaste and treats."