No arrests, no trial 35 years after Samora Machel’s death

By Jackie Gwemende

Thirty five years after the death of African icon and Mozambican President Moises Samora Machel, those responsible for his death have never been brought to book despite all fingers pointing to the apartheid regime in South Africa.

Investigations have remained inconclusive leading many to speculate that attempts to deliver justice have always been half-hearted.

Today, whispering tubes at Mbuzini stand as a constant reminder of how Africa lost a luminary in Cde Machel.

Cde Machel died on the 19th of October 1986 when his plane plunged into the Lebombo Mountains in Mbuzini, Eastern Transvaal.

The place of his death is now a monument that has since been upgraded to a heritage site. The monument was designed by a Mozambican architect consists of 35 steel tubes symbolising the number of people who died in the plane crash.

35 years later not even a single person has been held accountable for the death of this son of Africa and 34 other people. High level investigations have been commissioned but nothing has come out. 

South Africa’s apartheid regime under P.W Botha remain the chief suspects. It is still a mystery that even with the confession of Hans Louw, investigations are still said to be inconclusive.

Louw is a former special forces operative who confirmed his involvement in the assassination of Samora Machel.

“Our main target was to make sure Machel is dead,” says Louw.

Machel’s widow, Graca, is on record saying his husband was assassinated adding she, relatives and everyone, deserve to know the truth.

At the time of Samora Machel’s death in 1986, Mozambique was at the height of a civil war battling apartheid South Africa backed MNR bandits who were led by Afonso Dhlakama.

A ray of hope that the culprits might be punished appeared last week with the beginning of the trial of those accused of murdering another African icon Thomas Sankara.

In Europe, a 100-year-old former Nazi guard stood trial for World War 2 crimes committed 76 years ago.

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