The Conflict with Renamo, 1976-1992
«July-September 1979»

Dossier MZ-0020


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9. Soviet Army Officers Killed?

Andre Matsangaissa

Above: A photograph of André Matadi Matsangaissa (1950-1979), in hat on the right, with MNR fighters in the bush. He was the first leader of the MNR, but little is known reliably about him. He joined Frelimo in 1970, and fought in the armed struggle for national liberation during 1972 and 1973. He was sent to the Centro de Reeducação in Sacuze, after some construction materials went missing, and escaped in October 1976 to Rhodesia. There he was either recruited by or sought support from the white minority regime for an anti-Frelimo rebellion. It was widely believed that Matsangaissa had magical immunity from enemy bullets, but he was killed in action in a reckless attack in October 1979 against a well-defended FPLM position. Photograph: To the Point, 13 July 1979, p.8.

The South African disinformation magazine To the Point carried a feature story by the reporter José Ramalho about a visit to an MNR base where he met André Matsangaisse, then the movement’s military commander. The MNR later became notorious in the rural areas of Mozambique as the Matsangas.

Meanwhile, a report in the Johannesburg newspaper the Citizen was picked up by the Agence France Presse (AFP) in late August, claiming that five Soviet army officers had been killed in July during an ambush, presumably by the MNR, near Metuchipa in Nampula Province.


MHN Resources

1 July 1979
Prepara-se nova agressão contra a RPM: comunicado do Serviço Nacional de Segurança Popular. Tempo [Maputo], no.455, 1 July 1979, p.2. Click here to view or download a PDF, size 212 kb.

13 July 1979
José Ramalho. The threat from within: resistance group steps up attacks on Frelimo positions. To the Point [Johannesburg], 13 July 1979, p.8-11. Click here to view or download a PDF, size 313 kb.

August 1979
Plot foiled. Africa [London], no.96, August 1979. Click here to view or download a PDF, size 48 kb.

22 August 1979
Tribunal Militar Revolucionário condena inimigos do povo: oito criminosos sentenciados à morte por fuzilamento. Notícias [Maputo], 22 August 1979. Click here to view or download a PDF, size 243 kb.

26 August 1979
David Wood. Marxist Mozambique faces challenge from the right. Washington Star [Washington DC], 26 August 1979. Click here to view or download a PDF, size 189 kb.

31 August 1979
Soviet officers reportedly killed in guerrilla clash. Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FIBS) [Washington DC], 31 August 1979. Click here to view or download a PDF, size 230 kb.


Consolidated Downloadable Zipped Files

Click on the yellow folder image below to download an unsorted zipped archive of documents and press clippings in PDF format concerning the armed conflict between Renamo/MNR and the Mozambican government in July, August and September 1979. Note: it is possible that materials have been added to this archive that are not listed above.

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