Mozambican leader killed in 1986 plane crash is remembered

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa is hosting a commemoration 30 years after the death of Mozambican President Samora Machel, who was killed in a mysterious plane crash just inside the border of South Africa when it was under white minority rule.

Graca Machel, the widow of Machel who later married Nelson Mandela, was among those attending the ceremony on Monday in Mbuzini, a South African village close to where Machel and more than 30 others died on Oct. 19, 1986 when they were returning to Mozambique from Zambia.

There were widespread suspicions that the apartheid government was responsible for the death of Machel, an opponent of South Africa's white rulers. The South African government at the time blamed the disaster on the plane's Soviet crew, saying it ignored safety procedures.


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