Businessman killed in horrific plane crash


SOUTH AFRICA-based Beitbridge business tycoon Christian Malila Ndou was killed yesterday morning when his Robson R44 helicopter crashed at the mountainous Mapane area, 6km outside Gwanda town.

Albert Ncube Own Correspondent

Relatives identified the deceased and wept uncontrollably when they got to the scene of the horrific crash.

A man believed to be his son went berserk and ran away from the crash site before being apprehended by police.

Police were not readily available to comment.

Malila is suspected to have been thrown out of the helicopter when it developed a fault and overturned mid-air before it crashed and caught fire.

The helicopter’s propellers cut his body into pieces and his disembodied body was found almost 30 metres away from where the helicopter was, while one leg and a hand were cut into pieces.

Some remains were found from up to 50 metres away from the crash site.

Malila, who ran a thriving security company in South Africa, was flying alone at the time the accident occurred.

When our sister paper Southern Eye arrived at the scene, police were seen gathering his remains from the bushy area on a hilltop.

Eyewitness who saw the helicopter fly above Gwanda town moments before it crashed in Mapane area said the pilot had circled above the town as if he wanted some landing place.

“The helicopter circled for some moments and I thought it was going to land somewhere in town before it headed southwards, it could have developed a mechanical fault,” said Thembinkosi Moyo of Jahunda township.

Unconfirmed reports indicated that Ndou wanted to land at Gwanda High grounds to see a relative, but the helicopter developed a fault and he decided to proceed to Beitbridge.

“The helicopter was flying so low and it made some terrible sound, I think something was faulty with it,” Moyo added.

Some suggested the helicopter had tried to land at Gwanda police camp.

Residents of Mapane area said they heard a loud bang before seeing smoke rising.

“The sight was traumatising when we got there. I have never experienced this before. Pieces of human flesh were strewn all over the place and it will take time to forget this,” Nomsa Sibanda said.

Henry Raymond Hollins of Gwanda, who also owns helicopters, said it was strange that the helicopter had crashed.

“A Robson R44 rarely crashes and I really wonder what could have happened,” Hollins said.

Civil Aviation officials were expected to arrive yesterday to investigate the crash.


  1. Shame I really am sorry .But we all know that black people are jealous ,They thakathad him these vhenda people .RIP

  2. There is more to this than meets the eye. This guy could have been involved in some illegal deals and was moving contraband most likely gold across borders. However it is highly unlikely at this stage that the evidence is still intact or even available for that matter.

  3. Can anyone fly a plane / helicopter without being detected by our state security or aviation authority. Can someone educate me on this , I am just a kombi driver.

    • All flights in and out of Zimbabwe are monitored by the Central Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe for clearance. So really you cant fly in and out of the country without filing what is known as a flight plan. But of cause in cases of criminal acts, some people fly clandestinely but its risky and quite dangerous as you risk being detected and getting arrested. Some people will always take risks, but under normal circumstances, the correct procedure is to file a flight plan with the CAAZ and get clearance to fly.

      • True that. In Zimbabwe a few years back it was possible to file an ‘airborne flight plan’ from mapurazi or those remote areas. So hazvirevi kuti waa criminaro if yu start yo journey usina plan yacho, u can always do it on the way.

  4. shame,,,,what a painful death ,, I have never heard about this type of experience though we have plane/helicopter crushes…may his soul rest in peace & may God grand strength to his family on such a pathetic gesture

  5. I agree wit the guy who said maybe this tycoon was kinda involved in some shit business cz look this dude had a lot of money and no way was he gonna fly unchecking his chopper,I am sure it was really serviced but believe me these guys do a lot,really awful things but that does not stop us from saying “rest in peace” cz we all are gonna go through death but in different ways and people left behind would attribute the demise in many angles like what we are doing now. only GOD knows.

  6. RIP..I didnt know this tycoon and it goes on to show that there are many pple who have made it in this country who have remained humble and shy away from the press unlike so-called “Dr” so and so whose honorary degree remains in question.

  7. Very sad. This reminds me of an accident that happened along golden stairs road when the driver of a mercedes benz was involved in an accident and his car hit a tree where there was a swarm of bees. The bees attacked him and he later died. ZVAKAOMA.

  8. Was it a plane crash or helicopter crash. What a half baked reporter. Anywy my deepest condolences. May his soul rest in peace

  9. @ Mlomoliwoto. Usangongwarira paduri sehuku mhani; don’t be clever for nothing. Why are you saying that now when the guy is dead? If you knew any dirty deals, why did you not say it when the guy was still alive? This is the problem which is letting us down in Zimbabwe. Many dirty things are being carried out yet we keep quiet only to divulge that when the people are gone. Zvichatibatsirei? Zip your mouth. Confused person. Better to moan with the bereaved family. Ko wakasungwa wakasungirweiko? May you rest in peace Malila. Your legacy shall stay forever to be remembered.

  10. “but the helicopter developed a fault and he decided to proceed to Beitbridge.” it’s not making sense, after a fault in air then you want to go a long distance.was it a helicopter because he should have easily landed in Gwanda.

  11. Really Innocent, if he failed to land safely in Gwanda because of a mechanical fault. He then then deciced to fly back to beitbridge? Was he going to land safely there in his “plane”? Anyway RIP.

  12. Innocent and Jonso u got a point.Truely if he failed to land safely in
    Gwanda because of a
    mechanical fault. and he
    then deciced to fly back to
    beitbridge? Was he going
    to land safely there in his so called
    “plane” though it was a helicopter? It was also mentioned that he was alone not two, so was he a licensed pilot. Why was he alone
    ? Why didnt he land at the police station? What was he afraid of? Suspected to have been thrown out, by who?Again the police didnt comment. Something fishy on this man. Anyway RIP hake

  13. ii i personally think Innocent is talking sense,it is said this tycoon was flying by himself and the helicopter developed a fault and he decided to land in beitbridge whilst he was in Gwanda.who was he comunicating with?

    • idiot. The reporter clearly says it is ‘suspected that” he did not say with certainty that he wanted to land in Beitbridge. sisss mani

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