MBUZINI – Although it has been 32 years since the plane crash in which Samora Machel and his compatriots were killed, his legacy is still celebrated.
Government officials and other guests from South Africa and Mozambique visited the Samora Machel Monument on October 18 to lay wreaths and tour the museum.
Dignitaries included Raimundo Diomba, governor of Maputo province, MEC for culture, sport and recreation, Thandi Shongwe and Nkomazi mayor, Johan Mkhatshwa.
Machel and 33 other passengers were killed when their aeroplane crashed in the Lebombo Mountains near Mbuzini on the night of October 19, 1986.
They were returning to Maputo following a summit in Zambia. Many mysteries still surround the incident, as the exact cause was never determined.
READ about the 2014 investigation: Still no progress in criminal investigation in Samora Machel’s plane crash
“The annual commemoration is aimed at acknowledging, celebrating and preserving history for future generations and to highlighting heroes of the liberation struggle. Both countries will always commemorate the lives that were lost in the crash,” Sibongile Nkosi, of the Department of Culture, Sport and Recreation, explained.
Matilde Jose Joao Nhlampossa (46), from Polana Cimento, Maputo, was among the guests and said that Machel would always be remembered as a legend in the fight for Mozambique’s freedom.
“He left a mark in our lives and for that we will always celebrate him. I always come here every year to support our country. I never knew him on a personal level but in our history books, it says he served the Mozambican nation. He’s a role model to the young ones back home. In the next generation, we wish to have a leader like him,” he said.
Attendees had the opportunity to lay a wreath at the monument and tour the museum. It features a photographic exhibition on Machel, his history and information on the crash, pieces of wreckage and even documentation of the crash investigation.