Obert Mpofu in the spotlight over helicopter crash

via Obert Mpofu in the spotlight over helicopter crash | SW Radio Africa by Mthulisi Mathuthu on Thursday, May 22, 2014

Transport minister Obert Mpofu has put himself in the spotlight after he claimed that a South African helicopter which crashed in the Gwanda area a fortnight ago may have been involved in smuggling.

Officials are claiming that the unauthorized chopper flew into Zimbabwe undetected and crashed at Doddieburn Farm near West Nicholson on May 5th and was immediately buried. Another unauthorized chopper flew in to take away the surviving pilot and his wife.

But questions have been raised as to how a security conscious state like Zimbabwe could not have been aware of the aircraft’s presence within its borders.

Amid this whirlpool of suspicions, Mpofu threw himself into the spotlight saying the South African chopper is suspected to have been involved in the smuggling of either ivory or minerals. Doddieburn Farm is said to be a sprawling conservancy owned by the Gwanda Town Council and leased by Lawrence Botha.

Mpofu further revealed that the same plane had previously flown into the country many times without the knowledge of the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe. (CAAZ), which is under his ministry. The South African media has suggested that Mpofu himself knows more than he has revealed.

However the media has reportedly been barred from covering the excavation of the chopper’s wreckage while the police have said it is a ‘national security issue’. The police, the CIO and the army are all at the farm.

One journalist told SW Radio Africa that the area has been cordoned off and the road to the farm is littered with soldiers. He said: ‘The atmosphere is tense and you get the sense that you could disappear if you try to drive to the farm.’ Former Gwanda Mayor, Lionel De Necker said the incident was ‘shrouded in both mystery and secrecy.’

Despite the reported secrecy, the chopper crash has set tongues wagging with suspicions that the ill-fated aircraft may have been part of the chefs’ underhand dealings.

But it is Mpofu’s situation that could be more relevant. Not only did his ministry fail to discover the alleged violation of the country’s airspace, which he admits to, but he is also a former minister of mines during whose tenure allegations of diamond smuggling flew thick and fast.

Moreover, Mpofu once said ‘it is difficult to stop smuggling’ and SW Radio Africa reported in February that an estimated $50m worth of gold is smuggled out of the country every month.

The South African aircraft was the second to crash in the same district after another chopper mysteriously came down in rural Gwanda in January, killing Beitbridge businessman Christian Malila Ndou. Reports said Ndou had flown into the country from South Africa alone and was on his way back when he crashed.

Two people were arrested and charged with stealing R500, 000 from the scene of the crash but were later freed by a magistrate for lack of evidence. Again questions were asked as to how the state had determined the amount which Ndou was said to have been carrying when he crashed.



  • comment-avatar
    Two Points 9 years ago

    I just want to remind the author of the article;
    Stop wandering how foreign aircraft could fly into a so called security conscious country without detection. The meaning of security in Zimbabwe is any political threat that comes with pple supporting any party besides ZanuPF.
    2. Those flights are coordinated by the thieving shefs.

    • comment-avatar
      Mike Nyathi 9 years ago

      yes, exactly. Zimbabwe is a run down shack of a country and criminal elements are having a heyday.

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    Zimbabwe has no security.Remember their old radar systems.Tsvangirai jetted at Buffalo range mid 2005 when then were looking all over with dilapidated radar equipment,They were surprised to see him addressing a press conference at his house while soldiers were having their necks in the sky.Security system of Zimbabwe is overated.

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      Kusvikazvanaka 9 years ago

      Indeed, what we good at is corruption. This helicopter belongs to ZIM politicians.

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    It all may be true what Mpofu says. The Zimbabwe situation is such that Americans could most probably picnic in Zimbabwe and nobody would know because of power failures cuts and such. I would be more inclined to believe that he is involved because he knows that they cannot be detected. The South African Angle beats me. South Africa has advanced Radar. They would know if there were unauthorized flights into Zimbabwe from their air space. UNLESS OF COURSE THERE ARE SENIOR SOUTH AFRICAN GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS INVOLVED IN THESE SHENANIGANS. Even the quick rescue would suggest orginization at Military level.

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    Do not forget that Mugabe is neutralized somewhere in Singapore with a wife that is said to be losing weight. Gentlemen we are now living in dangerous times? Maybe Job Sakala knows something we don’t????

    • comment-avatar

      How much of these shenanigans would RGM detect let alone curb even if he was here? What with his health problems,poor sight and advanced age? He couldn’t keep up with the thieves he created. Besides they have been doing it right under his nose for years. He is a very old toothless buldog…just saying

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      Parangeta 9 years ago

      I believe she’s contracted HIV and the AIDS virus is blooming,
      according to a Singapore informant.

      Probably the chicken-legged Gono’s doing, plus all the other
      dis-Graceful bedfellows, who knows!

  • comment-avatar
    Bambabzonke 9 years ago

    Mr 10% of cause orbit is involved he’s getting his stash out so the rest of us will never find out , there has to be a SA official involved . Like all these incidents they go very quite very quickly and the PF are clever at diverting the attention away from where the real problem is . They rigged the election and now have the keep the people happy and fed !!!!

  • comment-avatar

    Dube if wishes were horses right now I would be riding CIRCLE THE SUN.

  • comment-avatar
    Tjingababili 9 years ago


  • comment-avatar
    John Thomas 9 years ago

    This is an internal matter of ZANU criminality. All we can be sure of is that the country is being robbed by ZANU.

    On the security angle our ZANU government and our weakly lead and badly trained military could not meet any challenge other than murdering unarmed civilians.

  • comment-avatar
    simbi 9 years ago

    The ANC and zpf are steeling together the south Africans are just as bad

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    yes security against Mugabe yes its tight.There is zero security againist looting because it is the Zanupf chefs who are looting. It reminds me of a story I read that some whites were going to Malema asking him to beg Zanupf on their behalf. These flights are known by Zanupf chefs like Mohadi the police Minister. He is from the province by the way.

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    Reverend 9 years ago

    If you only knew Lawrence Botha and Orbit Mpofu you can be certain that all is not well. Botha is a South African who is really up to no good in this country and is in cohoots with the zanoids. He has a wealthy investor from Botswana and enough said.

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    The security of Zimbabwe is only in the shef’s mouths. Those who are supposed to provide security to the nation are told which direction to watch and when.

    The two helicopters that came to Tsholotsho for a funeral were quickly spoted and I guess some CIO operatives were dispatched to go and attend the gogo’s funeral just in case. Was that because it was in Tsholotsho and some “dissidents” who might have fled to SA in 1983 have come back topple “our” government?

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    Petal 9 years ago

    Could be the reason why Obert has managed to build himself a shopping complex in Bulawayo?

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    Straight Shooter 9 years ago

    What security are you talking about in GUKURAHUNDILAND? Its a free for all!!

  • comment-avatar
    Parangeta 9 years ago

    Lawrence Botha, Safari Operator, got Frikkie Ludskie,
    Russian mobster, South African mafioso from Vereeneging,
    out of the Country, and bury the heli!
    Luskie had killed several people who crossed him, crashed
    another heli in N. Cape 2010 and also had it ‘camouflaged….

    Probably a ZANU puppet, or they are his puppets!

  • comment-avatar
    Mafatshi 9 years ago

    In the end we all die. What they have stolen and used to make others live in misery will remain in this world. The old cronies who are involved in all these scandals don’t stop to think.

  • comment-avatar
    maita 9 years ago

    Mafatshi, well said. Someone said satan tells them you will not die that is why it is loot and loot until you loot more. But vanofa chete vosiya zvavakba pano pasi ma demon achawanda pasi pano.

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    Shenanigans 9 years ago

    Fast track justice for whiteys and political opponants of Zany.What of corrupt Zanys who Jonathan Moyos newspapers exposed and the reason for the geriatric to be now in overdrive to scold.Comedy half hour at its best

  • comment-avatar
    ravhundu 9 years ago

    guys gutaivo Mwari Jehova vakatsamwa munoitwa hwaMama Gaddaffi