WATCH | Botswana 'suicide' aircraft crash: What we know so far

26 March 2019 - 06:51 By Kyle Zeeman

Officials in Botswana continue to piece together the details of a plane crash that left a clubhouse and several vehicles destroyed.

Video footage of a plane flying low and then crashing into the Matsieng Aerodrome near Rasesa, north of Gaborone, on Sunday has been circulated on social media.

The flight was operated by a local charter company and was at the time being flown by a man who had allegedly been involved in an altercation at a function held at Matsieng earlier in the day. It is alleged he intended to commit suicide.

"Earlier in the afternoon the pilot was an uninvited guest at a private function that was held at the Matsieng Flying Club facility at Matsieng Aerodrome. It is rumoured that the pilot was involved in a domestic dispute earlier in the afternoon.

"At approximately 6:15pm the aircraft approached Matsieng Aerodrome from the direction of Sir Seretse Khama Airport and made a number of low level flypasts from different directions, past the club facilities next to the air traffic control tower. Matsieng Flying Club members sensed that the pilot might have had an ulterior motive at the time and ordered an immediate evacuation of the club premises by the approximately fifty attendees," the Matsieng Flying Club said in a statement.

Clean-up operations took place at the site of the crash on Monday, with pictures circulating on social media of the area on the aftermath of the incident.

A friend of the pilot told Netwerk24 that he sensed something was wrong when he got a phone call from the pilot asking about his wife's whereabouts.

Another told EWN that after this call, the friend shouted for people to evacuate the building.

“He phoned his one mate on the ground there who was still at the party and he wanted to know where his wife was. The guy he called started shouting so that everybody could run away. And then [the pilot] flew into the Matsieng clubhouse.”

The publication added that the pilot was a South African man who had experience in flying light aircrafts.

A sister of the pilot's wife dismissed reports that the couple had a fight in the moments leading to the tragedy, but told Beeld that she did not want to speculate about what happened.

It follows a similar incident about 19 years ago when Botswana airline Chris Phatswe killed himself by crashing a plane into the Sir Seretse Khama International Airport in Gaborone and hit two other aircraft.


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