SABC News - SA to re-open probe into Machel plane crash :Wednesday 19 October 2011

SA to re-open probe into Machel plane crash

Wednesday 19 October 2011 18:05

SABC

Some believe Samora Machel's aircraft was diverted by a false beacon inside South Africa.

Some believe Samora Machel's aircraft was diverted by a false beacon inside South Africa.(SABC)

Pretoria is going to re-open the investigation into the circumstances surrounding the Samora Machel plane crash.

The aircraft crashed in Mbuzini in Mpumalanga. Mystery still shrouds the air disaster which claimed the lives of 35 people including Mozambique's former president Machel. Today, President Zuma attended the 25th commemoration of Machel's death on October 19, 1986. A Soviet built TU-134 airliner plunged from the skies and 25 years later many questions are still unanswered as to whether it was pilot error or sabotage.

Some believe the aircraft was diverted by a false beacon inside South Africa. Many have fingered apartheid security forces. The Machel family is still seeking answers, believing that various SA administrations had failed them. Samora Machel's widow, Graca Machel, said former presidents Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki said they would leave no stone untouched, and that South Africa and Mozambique promised to give the accident a full investigation. President Zuma now agrees that a fresh investigation is needed.

The first step is to meet with the Machel family and the Mozambican government

Zuma says he cannot go against what President Mandela and Mbeki committed to, 'hence we have to find the truth'. The terms and references of such an investigation have not been decided yet. 

Zuma says the first step is to meet with the Machel family and the Mozambican government to determine the best approach to re-look into this sensitive matter. 

Today African heads of state joined thousands of Mozambicans to honour their founding President. Machel was Mozambique's first president after gaining independence in 1974. A giant 12 meter statue was unveiled in his memory.

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