A former Civil Co-operation Bureau (CCB) killer, currently serving a 28-year term in Baviaanspoort Prison near Pretoria, claims to have taken part in a plot that caused the death of then Mozambican President Samora Machel.

The Sowetan Sunday World reported that Hans Louw, a Namibian national, claims the 1986 plane crash that killed Machel and 33 others on board was no accident.

Louw was allegedly part of a clean-up team tasked with ensuring that the then Mozambican president died.

However, the back-up team was not sent into action as the original plan, to lure the plane off course by using a false beacon, worked.

According to the report, Louw said the false beacon was put in position by military intelligence operatives of the apartheid government.

A commission of inquiry headed by Judge Cecil Margo, set up in 1987 by that government, discounted the theory of the false beacon and found that pilot error had caused the crash.

The newspaper revealed that former Rhodesian Selous Scout operative, Edwin Mudingi, also claims to have taken part in the hit, and confirms that Louw was part of the murder.

The Scorpions are investigating the allegations.

Louw says he was part of a squad that spied on Namibian activist Anton Lubowski and knows the names of his killers.

He was apparently also on a team that lured an Angolan military plane off course, again using a false beacon, causing a crash that killed key figures in the Angolan military in 1989.

The newspaper said Louw has confessed to being part of a squad that killed five youths in a shebeen in Lulekani, Phalaborwa, in March 1986.

He is to appear in court next week with other alleged hitmen on six murder and 70 attempted murder charges.

Louw - who is serving jail time for convictions committed outside the service of the CCB - says he had decided to confess to his killings after meeting jailed former Vlakplaas commander Eugene de Kock. - Sapa