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19 Oct 2007 10:40
Mozambican authorities need to continue to seek the truth on who killed Samora Machel, the country’s first president, almost 21 years ago.
The call was made by Feliciano Gundana, Minister for the Affairs of Former Combatants on Friday when he was speaking on Radio Mozambique’s Café da Manha.
“We should not rest until we know the truth on who killed president Machel,” said Gundana.
He said Samora Machel was a born leader who became popular with everyone he met—even during the time he was undergoing military training in Argelia in 1963.
“The announcement of President Samora Machel’s death was a great shock and most people would not accept it was a reality,” he said.
Gundana said there was a need to set aside October 19 as a national holiday to celebrate the work and contribution of Machel towards the liberation of the country.
Friday marked the 21st anniversary of the death of Mozambique’s first post-independence president, Machel, in an aeroplane accident in South Africa on October 19 1986.
The former president died after his jet, a Russian made Tupolev Tu-134, plunged into the Mbuzine Mountains in Mpumalanga after allegedly following a false beacon.
He died with 33 members of his presidential entourage that had accompanied him to a meeting in neighbouring Zambia.
The death of Machel, who was accredited for bringing independence to the country, plunged the Southern African nation into mourning.
At the time of his death, Machel had been in power for 11 years.
More than two decades after the plane crash, no official version of his death has been provided.
To mark the 21st anniversary of his death, several festivities including music and cultural shows, and debates have been organised throughout Mozambique.
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