STATEMENT BY COMMISSIONER DUMISA NTSEBEZA, HEAD OF INVESTIGATIONS OF THE TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION
Mrs Graca Machel, the widow of the late Mozambican President Samora Machel, will share her information on the circumstances surrounding her husband's death in 1986 with the TRC at a closed inquiry on Tuesday 23 June in Johannesburg.
This follows two days of testimony earlier this month in Cape Town on the crash of the Tupolev at Mbuzini near Komatipoort, in which 35 people died. The TRC's investigative unit questioned altogether 9 people on their knowledge about the crash, including Craig Williamson, a former Military Intelligence and Security Police operative. Other names were withheld to protect witnesses.
Over the last decade, Mrs Machel has made her own inquiries into the death of her husband, and hopes to share this with the panel, consisting of Chairperson, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Investigative Head, Commissioner Dumisa Ntsebeza, and Commissioners, Ms Glenda Wildschut and Dr Fazel Randera.
The panel will also hear testimony from Dr Abdul Minty, Deputy Director-General: Multilateral of the Department of Foreign Affairs. Dr Minty, a former Honorary Secretary of the British Anti-Apartheid Movement, has written extensively on Southern Africa for the United Nations. He is an expert on the former government's military capability and has done his own investigations into the 1986 plane crash.
The Margo Commission of Inquiry into the crash concluded that it was caused by pilot error. The former Soviet team, however, concluded that a decoy beacon caused the plane to stray off course before it crashed into the mountains at Mbuzini.
The Inquiry will start at 10h00 am at the TRC's office in Johannesburg in the Sanlam Centre, Corner of Von Weilligh and Jeppe streets.