Barberton Museum Samora Machel Monument

Former President of Mozambique Samora Machel

Samora Machel

On Sunday 19th October 1986, the Tupolev Tu-134 aircraft carrying President Samora Machel of Mozambique and his companions crashed at Mbuzini in the Lebombo Mountains while returning to Mozambique from a meeting in Zambia. President Samora Machel and 34 others perished in the crash. The cause of the crash is as yet unresolved.
Also on board the plane were members of Machel’s staff and prominent politicians. Among those who died were four Soviet crew members, two Cuban doctors and the Zambian and Zairean ambassadors to Mozambique. Only nine people survived the crash.
The monument was designed by Mozambican architect, Joes Foraz. It consists of 35 steel tubes symbolizing the number of lives lost in the crash. The pillars cast long shadows over the base and the wind causes permanent whisperings through incisions in the pillars. It was unveiled by President Nelson Mandela on the 19th January 1999.
As a tribute by the South African Government to an outstanding African Leader the memorial site was upgraded in 2006. Among other facilities erected are an exhibition area and an amphitheatre. Directions: from the N4 east of Malelane take the R570 (Jeppes reef road) or the R571 Komatipoort and follow the information signs. Turn left from the R571 and follow the road over the mountain to Mbuzini, a distance of about 30km.

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