Friday, September 30, 2016

South Africa: SA, Mozambique to Pay Tribute to Samora Machel
Pretoria — The South African and Mozambique governments will next month commemorate the 30th anniversary of the tragic death of former President of Mozambique, Samora Machel, in Mpumalanga.

Machel was returning from an international meeting with African leaders in 1986, when his plane crashed in the Lebombo Mountains, near Mbuzini.

There were 32 people on board when the plane crashed. Eight people survived the crash.

There were suspicions that the crash was a deliberate act of sabotage masterminded by the apartheid regime of South Africa.

In 1994, after the democratically-elected government took over, an investigation by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) found inconclusive evidence pointing to the apartheid government's involvement in the crash.

During his leadership, President Machel supported and allowed revolutionaries fighting the apartheid regime to operate within Mozambique, this included the ANC military wing, uMkhonto weSizwe.

This made the apartheid regime inimical to the frontline states, whom they sought to destabilise at every turn.

Minister of Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa said this year, 30 years since the tragedy, Machel's death will be commemorated under the theme: "Commemorating 30 years of selfless service and dedication to the people of Southern Africa, We remember them".

"The theme reminds us to honour and express our gratitude to those who dedicated their lives to ensure that our country achieved freedom and democracy that all of us enjoy today," said Minister Mthethwa.

Legacy Projects

The Minister said the event forms part of the Legacy Projects initiative led by the department, aimed at redressing and transforming the heritage landscape to truly tell the liberation journey from colonial times, during the liberation struggle and the democratic era.

"The mandate of the department is to ensure that our stories, our heritage is preserved, promoted and used as a vehicle to foster nation building and social cohesion, inclusive citizenry participation and economic development.

"South Africa acknowledges the support and solidarity provided by its neighbouring states during the era of oppression.

"We believe that while commemorating the 30th anniversary of Samora Machel's passing, the citizens of both countries should draw lessons from the sacrifices and the significant contribution made by those who came before us in the liberation of African people," said Minister Mthethwa.

The present democratic government of South Africa continues to enjoy a strong relationship with Mozambique based on historic ties and geographical proximity, with Mozambique having played a key role during the liberation struggles against apartheid and colonial oppression.

The integration of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) remains critical for the economic development of the region.

The anniversary of Machel's death will be held on 17 October 2016 at the Samora Machel Museum in Mbuzini, in the Nkomazi Municipality.

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