The first hearing of Margo Commission commences

ZS-SAS, the aircraft involved in the accident, seen at Faro Airport in 1986, a year before the crash.

Tuesday, 20 January 1987

The Margo Commission, set up by the South African government to probe the mysterious death of Mozambican president Samora Machel, started its first hearing at the Rand Supreme Court in Johannesburg. Machel's plane crashed in Mbuzini near Komatipoort, where the borders of Mozambique and Swaziland and South Africa meet. The Mozambican president was returning from a meeting of African leaders held in Lusaka, Zambia. The commission had subpoenaed several witnesses, including members of the SA Military Intelligence. Based on evidence gathered from the black box and military intelligence, the Margo Commission concluded that the aircraft was airworthy and fully serviced and that there was no evidence of sabotage or external forces involved. This conclusion was disputed by a subsequent report of the Soviet and Mozambican Medical investigations.

    References:
    • Kalley, J.A.; Schoeman, E. & Andor, L.E. (eds) (1999). Southern African Political History: a chronology of key political events from independence to mid-1997, Westport: Greenwood.)
    • SAHO, History of South African National Orders and Awards, from South African History Online, Available at www.sahistory.org.za [Accessed:19 December 2013]

    Last updated : 11-Jan-2017

    This article was produced for South African History Online on 16-Mar-2011