President Cyril Ramaphosa and Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi will participate at the commemorative event marking the 35th anniversary of the passing of former Mozambican president and revered African statesman Samora Machel. File Picture
President Cyril Ramaphosa and Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi will participate at the commemorative event marking the 35th anniversary of the passing of former Mozambican president and revered African statesman Samora Machel. File Picture

Samora Machel to be remembered at 35th annivesary of Mbuzini plane crash

By Jonisayi Maromo Time of article published Oct 18, 2021

Share this article:

Pretoria - President Cyril Ramaphosa and his Mozambican counterpart Filipe Nyusi are set to participate in a commemorative event on Tuesday to mark the 35th anniversary of the passing of former Mozambican president and revered African statesman Samora Machel.

Both Ramaphosa and Nyusi are scheduled to speak at the occasion and lay wreaths, acting Presidency spokesperson Tyrone Seale said.

Machel died in 1986 when his plane crashed on South African soil in the Lebombo Mountains near the confluence of the borders with eSwatini and Mozambique. Machel was on his way home from an international conference with other African leaders in Zambia.

Tuesday’s commemorative event will take place at the crash site at Mbuzini in Mpumalanga’s Nkomazi municipality, where the Samora Machel Museum has been established, Seale said.

The crash on 19 October 1986 triggered allegations of sabotage leveled against the then South African apartheid administration.

“An inquiry by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in 1994 was inconclusive on the cause of the crash in which President Machel, members of his party, ministers, officials and crew of the Russian aircraft perished,” said Seale.

“President Machel encouraged and enabled revolutionaries battling the apartheid system to operate in Mozambique during his presidency. This rendered the apartheid administration hostile to the front line states, and determined to destabilise countries supporting the liberation struggle.”

In the democratic dispensation, South Africa and Mozambique have fostered close relations based on historical links, geographical proximity and Mozambique’s significant role against apartheid.

Seale said the 35th anniversary of Machel’s death was part of the department of sport, arts and culture's legacy projects programme, which aims to correct and alter the heritage landscape “to authentically convey South Africa’s liberation story from colonial times”.

IOL

Share this article: