Quest to resolve alleged Helderberg crash 'cover-up' continues, 30 years on

Many unanswered questions still remain surrounding the 1987 plane crash of South African Airways (SAA) flight SA295.

The SAA Helderberg aircraft crashed into the sea near Mauritius in 1987, killing all 159 passengers and crew after a fire on board.

Captain Dawid Jacobus Uys was en route from Taiwan to Johannesburg via Mauritius when communications was lost over the Indian Ocean.

Over the decades, there have been numerous attempts to get to the truth, including the Margo commission of inquiry into the air crash.

There has been speculation of a political cover-up and allegations that the aircraft was carrying illegal cargo, namely rocket fuel and weapons.

Mystery unresolved

Forensic scientist Dr David Klatzow says that the official commission of inquiry chaired by Judge Cecil Margo was a blatant whitewash.

Klatzow was consulted during the inquiry to try to ascertain whether carbon monoxide had caused the death of the passengers.

He believes that the aircraft was illegally carrying ammonium perchlorate or a similar chemical compound.

Peter Otzen Jr, an attorney whose father died in the Helderberg crash days before his birth, is still determined to get answers.

Otzen wrote to President Jacob Zuma asking him to appoint a new commission of inquiry into the disaster.

He says he has conducted research and interviews revealing crucial information which sheds light on what happened during what he calls an apartheid government atrocity.

It became quite obvious that the Margo commission of inquiry was part of the massive cover-up.

Dr David Klatzow, Forensic scientist

There's only one explanation of why Judge Cecil Margo tried to ban the readings of certain parts of the cockpit voice recorder.

Dr David Klatzow, Forensic scientist

It's a black spot in the history of South Africa; the willful murder of [passengers] aboard that flight. We need to get to the truth.

Dr David Klatzow, Forensic scientist

A new inquiry would bring down SAA if it found the truth.

Dr David Klatzow, Forensic scientist

Every single piece of information that we've uncovered has pointed in the direction of illegal armament and suppressed information.

Dr David Klatzow, Forensic scientist

There's definitely a smoking gun and we need to find out what happened.

Peter Otzen Jr, legal professional and son of Helderberg crash victim

Noseweek editor Martin Welz says he spoke to sources that informed him of SAA's suspicious cargo clearing controls and describes investigations at the time.

Listen to Dr David Klatzow and Peter Otzen Jr. clear the smoke on the Helderberg crash:


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI

CapeTalk welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

  • Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
  • Sexism
  • Homophobia
  • Religious intolerance
  • Cyber bullying
  • Hate speech
  • Derogatory language
  • Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the CapeTalk community a safe and welcoming space for all.

CapeTalk reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

CapeTalk is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

Read More
I find it difficult to think Mark Minnie would kill himself, says Marianne Thamm

I find it difficult to think Mark Minnie would kill himself, says Marianne Thamm

Daily Maverick's Assistant editor, Marianne Thamm, says that nothing had previously indicated that Minnie would take his own life.

[WATCH] 'I write about the world that I see' - Indian author Arundhati Roy

[WATCH] 'I write about the world that I see' - Indian author Arundhati Roy

Indian writer Arundhati Roy shares profound insights about her literary life and what inspires her to put pen on paper.

Family of missing Hangberg 'poacher' want answers from authorities

Family of missing Hangberg 'poacher' want answers from authorities

Violence broke out in Hout Bay on Sunday after the disappearance of a suspected poacher and the arrest of two other fishermen.

[LISTEN] What does the law say about maternity leave

[LISTEN] What does the law say about maternity leave

Attorney at Marais Muller Hendricks Attorneys, Jessica Senekal looks at legalities surrounding maternity leave.

[LISTEN] Cape Town woman shares story in a bid to de-stigmatise mental illness

[LISTEN] Cape Town woman shares story in a bid to de-stigmatise mental illness

Having lived her life with chronic mental illnesses, she says letting go of the shame has let her connect more deeply with people.

From trolley collector to qualified chef: This is Ferdi October's moving story

From trolley collector to qualified chef: This is Ferdi October's moving story

Ferdinand October had to quit high school 18 years ago to help his family make ends meet.

Popular articles
Jacques Pauw: We need more evidence on the 'The Lost Boys of Bird Island' book

Jacques Pauw: We need more evidence on the 'The Lost Boys of Bird Island' book

Investigative journalist and author Jacques Pauw shares his thoughts on 'The Lost Boys of Bird Island' book.

'There is no verse in the Quran that says women should cover their faces'

'There is no verse in the Quran that says women should cover their faces'

Dr Taj Hargey says he is advocating for the ban of women wearing burkas in public because they look ridiculous.

[WATCH] Kid goes from 'be a fart machine at work' to 'I love you dad'

[WATCH] Kid goes from 'be a fart machine at work' to 'I love you dad'

Khabazela shares tweets & videos that have gone viral including a parrot that told firefighters the F-word during its rescue.

Stellenbosch University's Tygerberg campus declared smoke and tobacco-free zone

Stellenbosch University's Tygerberg campus declared smoke and tobacco-free zone

The campus is aiming at maintaining and promoting health, wellness and quality of life to its staff and students.

[LISTEN] IRR believes list of targeted farms is genuine

[LISTEN] IRR believes list of targeted farms is genuine

Institute for Race Relations researches Terence Corrigan explains why they believe the list Afriforum has released is genuine.

[LISTEN] Is your phone listening in on your conversations?

[LISTEN] Is your phone listening in on your conversations?

MD at World Wide Worx Arthur Goldstuck explains how your phone may record your voice conversations.