Issued by: Truth and Reconciliation Commission
STATEMENT BY THE TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION'S INVESTIGATIVE HEAD, DUMISA NTSEBEZA
Altogether 11 people were invited to give evidence and/or answer questions about the Helderberg air disaster in 1987, which claimed the lives of all 159 people on board.
They will be required to appear at a closed investigative inquiry from June 1 to 3 about aspects relating to the nature of the Helderberg's cargo and the three year investigation that culminated in an inquiry by Judge Cecil Margo. This inquiry never concluded what caused the fire on board the plane. The fire caused the plane to crash into the sea near Mauritius where it was due to land.
The Friends of the Victims of the Helderberg (Fovoh) made a submission to the TRC last year, expressing their concerns about the former government's inquiry and urging the Commission to do further investigations.
Those invited to make further representations to the TRC include former and current staff from South African Airways (SAA) and from Armscor.
Dr David Klatzow, a forensics expert who has been investigating the Helderberg Inquiry for several years, was invited to give specialist testimony and analysis to the Commission.
Others invited are: Mr Gert van der Veer, former Chief Executive of SAA, Mr Mickey Mitchell, former SAA Flight Operations director, and employees, Tienie Willemse, John Hare, Joseph Braizblatt and Vernon Nadel.
Former and current Armscor agents and members of subsidiaries were also invited to give evidence. Mr JNJ van Rensburg, the attorney for the Margo Board of Inquiry will be asked to explain how evidence was dealt with by the Margo inquiry.
The TRC's inquiry will be held in camera at the TRC's head office in Cape Town.