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South African 'mercenary' dies in Zimbabwe jail


ONE OF THESE MEN IS DEAD

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By Agencies

A SOUTH African man held in Zimbabwe over an alleged plot to overthrow the government in Equatorial Guinea has died.

Ngave Jarukemo Muharukua (35), one of the 68 men held in a Zimbabwean jail, died yesterday in a Harare hospital, where he had been admitted last week, the state news agency reported. The cause of death was not revealed.

"Ngave, a South African citizen, has died," New Ziana quoted an unnamed prison official as saying, without giving further details.

A lawyer who has been representing the men could not confirm the death when contacted by reporters.

The deceased was one of 70 men arrested at Harare's international airport in March when a plane they were travelling on stopped to pick up weapons from a state arms manufacturer.

The men were last month sentenced to prison terms ranging from one to seven years for violating Zimbabwean immigration, firearms and aviation laws, and only two were acquitted.

Sixty-seven of them, including the deceased, received prison terms of between 12 and 16 months for breaching immigration laws.

German Eugen Nershz, one of the 15 foreigners arrested in Equatorial Guinea in connection with the coup attempt, died several days after his arrest, supposedly from complications arising from cerebral malaria. But Amnesty International said Nershz died "apparently as a result of torture".

Meanwhile, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has suggested that the easiest way to deal with mercenaries in Africa is to shoot them.

"Mercenaries, you just shoot them. This is a simple matter, it's not a big problem," he said yesterday in Harare, where he is on a state visit. - Sapa-AFP
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