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:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Quest to resolve alleged Helderberg crash 'cover-up' continues, 30 years on


Recommended

by THE NEWSROOM

702 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 702 community a safe and welcoming space for all.

702 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.

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

Read More
This nifty device helps parents save water during bath time with their tiny tots

This nifty device helps parents save water during bath time with their tiny tots

The Baby Dam works in standard baths and creates a barrier in the bath tub to help 'fill up' using less water.

Poor sleep can cause weight gain, says expert

Poor sleep can cause weight gain, says expert

Sleep specialist Dr Irshaad Ebrahim says fragmented sleep or sleep deprivation can lead to weight gain and other health issues.

Buying a car for a first-time driver? Expert advice from motoring gurus

Buying a car for a first-time driver? Expert advice from motoring gurus

Gumtree Auto ZA's Jeff Osborne and Cars.co.za's Ciro De Siena offer their expert tips when buying a budget car for a newbie.

Tips on how to reduce Listeria risk in foods

Tips on how to reduce Listeria risk in foods

Food scientists are calling it the worst documented listeriosis outbreak in global history. An expert shares food safety advice.

Dealing with emotions vital part of divorce mediation, says attorney

Dealing with emotions vital part of divorce mediation, says attorney

Divorce is happening more frequently in SA and over 50% of cases involve minor children. A family law attorney shares her tips.

Nearly 11 200 WC pupils still need school placement

Nearly 11 200 WC pupils still need school placement

Education MEC Debbie Schafer says 3 200 grade 1 pupils and 4 400 grade 8 pupils must be be placed into for the 2018 academic year.

Popular articles
Meet the inspirational man who has lived with HIV since birth

Meet the inspirational man who has lived with HIV since birth

Ntimbwe Mpamba shares his life's journey of living with HIV. He is the longest living person with HIV in Africa.

Historical victory as Parliament passes paternity leave bill

Historical victory as Parliament passes paternity leave bill

The Labour Laws Amendment Bill seeks to regulate the right of parental leave for South African fathers and adoption leave.

Soon you may not be able to light up in public (indoors or out!)

Soon you may not be able to light up in public (indoors or out!)

The Dept of Health is looking to introduce draft legislation that includes a complete ban on all smoking in public areas.

'If you don't like dagga, you're not going to like the future', says lobbyist

'If you don't like dagga, you're not going to like the future', says lobbyist

The Clear Option's CEO, Quintin van Kerken, says the State has failed to make a convincing argument against legalising cannabis.

Dr Viwe Mtwesi is South Africa's youngest black female cardiologist

Dr Viwe Mtwesi is South Africa's youngest black female cardiologist

Dr Viwe Mtwesi spoke to Relebogile Mabotja about her achievements and commitment to serving people through her work.

Almost 30 million SA ID numbers compromised after site hacked

Almost 30 million SA ID numbers compromised after site hacked

Independent Marketing Consultant in the Technology Space, Andrew Fraser says this looks like a leak and not a hack.

'The university degree is dead'

'The university degree is dead'

Flux Trends founder Dion Chang gives five reasons why he believes getting a degree is past its sell by date.