#SNAPSHOT IN HISTORY – SAMORA MACHEL ARRIVES TO DISCUSS SOUTH AFRICAN RAIDS IN MOZAMBIQUE 1981

Mozambican President Samora Moisés Machel arrived in Lusaka on 7th February, 1981 from Maputo to meet with Zambian President Kenneth David Kaunda after South African commandos infiltrated into the Mozambican capital Maputo on 30th January, 1981 and raided an African National Congress (ANC) facility killing six (6) ANC cadres.

One South African soldier and a Portuguese civilian were also killed in the raid.

President Machel was accompanied by his wife Grąca and senior officials from his government. They were welcomed at Lusaka International Airport by President Kaunda, his wife Betty and senior Zambian government and ruling United National Independence Party (UNIP) official including Mr. Mainza Chona and Mr Alexander Grey Zulu.

President Machel who stepped off his aircraft saying in the local Nyanja dialect “Tilipo” (loosely translated to mean we are living or alive) was greeted by Dr. Kaunda in Nyanja with “Muli Bwanji?” (How are you?) to which President Machel promptly answered with “Tili Bwino” (We are fine).

Present at the Airport was Zindzi (Zindziswa) Mandela the daughter of then imprisoned leader of the African National Congress (ANC) Nelson Mandela whom President Kaunda introduced to President Machel and his wife.

Zindzi had visited her father in prison a few months earlier in November 1980. The irony of this meeting is that the Mozambican First Lady Grąca was 17 years later to marry Zindzi’s father on 18 July, 1998 and become South African First Lady.

Zindzi died last year on 13th July, 2020 aged 59 from suspected Covid19 complications.

Courtesy : Eugene Makai and Zambia Our Heritage

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