The Conflict with Renamo
April 1979

Dossier MZ-0020

The Death Penalty for Sabotage

In the aftermath of the Rhodesian-planned attacks on the Chicamba Real Dam and the Beira oil storage tanks at Munhava, both represented by the Smith regime as having been carried out by the Resistência, the Mozambican government was moved to introduce draconian penalties for armed rebellion or infiltration for purposes of sabotage. These offences were categorised as ‘anti-state’ crimes, and a new military court, the Tribunal Militar Revolucionário, was set up to deal with such cases. In late March, ten people, including a Portuguese citizen, were shot to death by firing squad, and in mid-April another group including four Rhodesians was also executed. The Voz da África Livre radio station continued to broadcast communiqués detailing attacks by the «MRM» or Mozambique Resistance Movement, although at least one Western commentator considered it likely that these were acts of banditry rather than actual ‘forays by regular troops’.

Decoration

April 1979
Death for sabotage. New African [London], April 1979, p.40, 42. Click here to view or download a PDF, size 159 kb.

2 April 1979
New military tribunal and executions in Mozambique. Summary of World Broadcasts [London], 2 April 1979. Click here to view or download a PDF, size 229 kb.

3 April 1979
Letter dated 2 April 1979 from the Permanent Representative of Mozambique to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General. United Nations Security Council [documents] [New York], no.S/13214, 3 April 1979, p.1-4. Click here to view or download a PDF, size 205 kb.

6 April 1979
José Ramalho. Mozambique: oil blast boosts the resistance. To the Point [Johannesburg], vol.8 no.14, 6 April 1979, p.33. Click here to view or download a PDF, size 388 kb.

8 April 1979
Dez assassinos do nosso povo condenados à morte e executados: comunicados do Minist ério da Defesa Nacional e do Tribunal Militar Revolucionário. Tempo [Maputo], no.443, 8 April 1979, p.3-5. Click here to view or download a PDF, size 270 kb.

Below: Afonso Cotoi, a captured MNR member, speaking to the press in March 1979. He was subsequently sentenced to death by the TMR and shot. This photograph was published in Tempo no.439, 4 March 1979, page 27.

Afonso Cotoi

8 April 1979
Execução já era uma decisão do povo. Tempo [Maputo], no.443, 8 April 1979, p.6. Click here to view or download a PDF, size 242 kb.

8 April 1979
Quem são os assassinos do povo. Tempo [Maputo], no.443, 8 April 1979, p.7. Click here to view or download a PDF, size 191 kb.

11 April 1979
Mozambican dissidents’ account of rail bridge attack and effect on Zambia. Summary of World Broadcasts [London], 11 April 1979. Click here to view or download a PDF, size 89 kb.

13 April 1979
José Ramalho. Mozambique: how Machel backdates his justice. To the Point [Johannesburg], vol.8 no.15, 13 April 1979, p.33. Click here to view or download a PDF, size 154 kb.

15 April 1979
Watu kumi wahukumiwa kifo Msumbiji [Ten people sentenced to death in Mozambique. Mzalendo [Dar es Salaam], 15 April 1979. Click here to view or download a PDF, size 23 kb.

17 April 1979
Four Rhodesians executed. Daily Telegraph [London], 17 April 1979. Click here to view or download a PDF, size 250 kb.

22 April 1979
Dez mercenários condenados à morte e executados: comunicados do Minist ério da Defesa e do Tribunal Militar Revolucionário. Tempo [Maputo], no.445, 22 April 1979, p.5-7. Click here to view or download a PDF, size 223 kb.

23 April 1979
Mozambique dissident group’s military claims. Summary of World Broadcasts [London], 23 April 1979. Click here to view or download a PDF, size 147 kb.

Decoration