The investigation into the plane crash of former Mozambican president Samora Machel should be re-opened, said former apartheid-era foreign affairs minister Pik Botha in a documentary to be aired on Tuesday.

"A Judicial Commission of Inquiry will be able to lay this matter to rest. It will also help in the process of healing between South Africa and Mozambique including the region of southern Africa considering our past," says Botha in a Special Assignment documentary "Death of a President" to be aired on SABC3 on Tuesday night.

"There are progressive judges that could be appointed to chair the commission".

Special Assignment producer Johann Abrahams said new eyewitness accounts emerge about the plane crash in the documentary.

Co-founder of RENAMO, a Mozambican rebel movement, Andre Thomashausen, also calls for a judicial commission of inquiry to probe the new eye witness account made by Hans Louw.

Louw, a former Civil Cooperation Bureau operative, confesses in the documentary to his role in the assassination of Machel.

He was released last month from a Pretoria prison after serving a 28-year sentence for murder in an unrelated case.

Louw claims in the documentary that he was part of clean up team tasked with ensuring Machel died.

He says a false beacon was put in position by a military intelligence operative of the apartheid government to divert the plane.

Louw pointed out last month where he stood armed with a surface to air missile (SAM) ready to shoot down the plane.

A Zimbabwean citizen and a former apartheid military intelligence operative who asked not to be named also confess to driving the alleged assassins to their destination.

He claims the plane was shot down with a SAM from the northern side of the plane.

The man also names the military intelligence operative attached to the mechanical section of the old South African Defence Force (SADF).

Both Louw and the other man's confessions are with the SA Police Service Special Investigative Unit and the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Thomashausen says in the documentary it would be interesting to investigate if superpower countries like America, Britain and Russia played any role in the plane crash.

"They were involved in a cold war and Mozambique and Machel were proxies of this war," he said.

Former head of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission investigative unit, Dumisa Ntsebeza, - who also investigated the involvement of the SADF - supports a call for a judicial enquiry into the matter.

Machel and 33 other people were killed on October 19, 1986, when their plane crashed in Mbuzini in Mpumulanga on the way from Zambia to Mozambique.

Speculation continues that the crash was not an accident. - Sapa