What really happened to Helderberg?
28 Nov 2012
Maygene de Wee
CAPE TOWN — Twenty-five years after his father, Peter Otzen senior, died along with 158 other people in the Helderberg aircrash, his son still wants to know what went wrong that fateful day.
Peter Otzen (25) said yesterday he would approach the Constitutional Court in a bid to get answers to all his questions.
He said it was the last resort for him and the family of other victims.
“My letters, two that I’ve written to the president asking that the inquiry into the crash be reopened, have fallen on deaf ears.”
Only one of the letters was acknowledged. “The other one seems to have fallen into a black hole,” he said.
Otzen’s court papers will be submitted within the next week.
“The president has the right to order that the previous commission should be reopened or a new commission appointed.”
Otzen said the first commission of inquiry, chaired by Judge Cecil Margo, wasn’t worth the paper on which its report was written.
He said there was a lot of new evidence that showed the findings of the Margo commission had not reflected the truth.
“There is a lot that shows that things were hidden, so the truth would not come out,” he added.
A total of 150 passengers and crew were killed when the Helderberg, a Boeing 747 Combi, crashed into the sea near Mauritius on November 28, 1987, during a flight from Taiwan to Johannesbrg.
The official inquiry found that the crash was caused by a fire in the cargo hold.
Renowned forensic expert, Dr David Klatzow, said yesterday by telephone he too agreed that the Margo commission was a cover-up.
“It is a fact that explosives were on board the Helderberg. That is why the government will not reopen the investigation, because many people would have claims for damages,” he said.