Today in History: Samora Machel pledges Solidarity with the South African People following Matola Raid

samora-machel

samora-machel On 14 February 1982, on the first commemoration of the Matola event of the Matola raid, the late Mozambican President Samora Machel called for this day to be declared as the day of friendship between the two neighbours.

On 30 January 1981 the South African National Defence Force of the then apartheid government raided the African National Congress safe houses in Matola, a suburb in the outskirts of Maputo. These safe houses served as transit points for uMkhonto Wesizwe (MK) cadres.

During the raid 12 MK members and one Mozambican citizen were instantly killed. Another MK member, Mduduzi Sibanyoni, later died of injuries sustained during the raid.

According to the Truth and Reconciliation Commissions records, two additional MK combatants who had been abducted during the raid were later brutally killed at the Vlakplaas Camp. A Mozambican was also reportedly abducted.

The raid constituted part of the apartheid destabilisation campaign against countries and peoples who supported the liberation struggle. Similar raids and assassinations were also conducted in Zimbabwe, Angola, Swaziland, Zambia, Lesotho and France among others.

On 14 February 1982, on the first commemoration event of the Matola raid, the late Mozambican President Samora Machel called for this day to be declared as the day of friendship between the two neighbours. The victims were Lancelot Hadebe, Mandla Daka, Daniel Molokisi, Steven Ngcobo, Vusumzi Ngwema, Thabang Bookolane, Krishna Rabilal, Themba Dimba, Motso Mokgabudi, Collin Khumalo, Levinson Mankankaza, Albert Mahutso, Mduduzi Guma, William Khanyile and Vuyani Mavuso. Mavuso was kidnapped during the raid, and was later executed when he refused to cooperate with apartheid security agencies and betray his comrades.

In honour and memory of the fallen heroes and their affected families of the Matola raid, the South African and Mozambican governments initiated a project in 2002 to construct a monument and interpretation centre at Matola to commemorate the events of 1981.

In honour and memory of the fallen heroes and their affected families of the Matola raid, the South African and Mozambican governments initiated a project in 2002 to construct a monument and interpretation centre at Matola to commemorate the events of 1981.

 

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