Samora: Logline

Samora’s murder is an international political, business and intelligence forces conspiracy to snatch the wealth of Mozambique, viz coal, wide Indian Ocean coastline and harbours, off-shore gasdeposits, away from Russia, to S.A., USA, British, Italian, Brazilian business. Post-Samora, Mozambique and S.A. relations have been dominated by S.A Private security companies, mercenaries from the RENAMO and the Zimbabwean war, and the Islamic insurgency in the coal/gas fields provinces. A Moz former Finance Minister fled, and is right now incarcerated at the Kgosi Mampuru High Security facility. Our first investigative journalist contact in Maputo,tells us we are treading on volatile grounds.

Samora: Synopsis

Samora is a fictionalised dramatic television series about the death of Samora Machel, the first president of Mozambique, and the first husband of independent South Africa’s First Lady, Graca. The story will be told in six parts, in its attempt to unravel the tangled web that surrounds the circumstances of the plane crash that killed Mr Machel and many others on a fateful day in October 1986.

Set in the present, the story is led by exhibition curator, Bambata Zondi, a returning exile who has been involved in a succession of unsuccessful projects since his return home. During the process of curating an exhibition about the death of the president, Bambata uncovers secrets that deepen the mystery surrounding the plane crash.

As the Zondi team conducts its research, Samora’s restless ghost begins to visit Bambata in his sleep, determined to guide him to the truth. Team Zondi discovers the plane’s Black Box, but before they can secure it for their installation, this crucial evidence is removed by a former general who served in the apartheid administration. The investigation takes the team to Maputo, Mozambique where their leader is accused of creating civil unrest, is arrested and tortured.

Samora reveals the contradictions surrounding the face of apartheid racism, the potential and actual betrayal of former comrades, the empowerment of the women who quietly work to change the status quo, and the underlying fear of failure as Team Zondi investigates who killed Samora Machel? Was it, indeed, the apartheid regime? If so, why? The Mozambican president had signed a peace treaty with the apartheid state only months before the plane crash. Could it have been enemies within his ruling FRELIMO Party who wanted him gone? Maybe it was the Malawian President, Hastings Banda, who Machel had publicly chastised and threatened only a month before the crash? Or perhaps the answers lie further afield, outside of Africa, lurking in the shadows of the previous colonial powers?

Bambata becomes obsessed with revealing the truth, even as the investigation steers him and Team Zondi into dangerous territory way beyond his immediate contractual commitment.

Written by Vusi Macingwane Mchunu. Research and Development Sausage Film Company. Produced by Sangoma Productions.


The 8-part TV Drama Series sets off as the making of a permanent exhibition on the plane crash site, where President Samora Machel and 34 others perished, but intrigue steps in as to which interests were behind this crash. The inconclusive findings of the four commissions on the crash. The lack of political will by both S.A. and Mozambique to bring the culprits to justice. Ignoring the Truth & Reconciliation’s Report, investigative journalism’s reports and testimonies by former SADF operatives, weaves a fictional and gripping tale for the flat screen. The after-life Spirit of Samora harangues heritage investigator Bambata Zondi. The creative team is wrecked by tension and threats from their previous lives. They clash with the International Court of Justice. They are held in suspicion by international and South African business. They confront intelligence services. A web widens, the plot thickens and the stakes become higher than just, ”who killed Samora Machel”. Action is in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Nelspruit, Mbuzini, Manzini, Maputo, Lilongwe, Rome and the Hague.

TV Drama