The Daily Maverick reports that a pilot with a South African private military company fighting jihadist insurgents in northern Mozambique was seriously injured when his microlight aircraft crashed in the area on Monday.
The pilot was evacuated by air ambulance to South Africa and is in hospital in stable condition, according to security sources, including those close to Dyck Advisory Group (DAG) the pilot’s employer.
The sources said the Bat Hawk crashed while returning from a routine patrol in the Cabo Delgado area of Mozambique.
“When communications with the aircraft were lost, an immediate recovery mission was launched to the position of the tracker beacon installed on the aircraft.
“The wreck was easily located in very dense forest because of the beacon. “Recovery of the single occupant, the pilot, was effected. The very badly injured man was recovered with considerable skill.
“The reason for the crash is not known, but it was not any form of enemy action.”
This was the second DAG aircraft downed amid the fight against the insurgents. In April one of its Gazelle helicopter gunships crash-landed and was destroyed after being hit by enemy gunfire. The crew was not harmed.
Security sources say that on 16 June, the insurgents attacked the village of Koko just outside Macomia. Several houses were looted and destroyed.
South African Minister of International Relations Naledi Pandor recently told Parliament that the South African and Mozambican governments were discussing how South Africa could help Mozambique fight the insurgents. But since then Pretoria has not made any further comments on its plans, prompting considerable speculation.
There is also no clarity about the success or otherwise of DAG’s operations. The British Daily Telegraph reported last week that DAG had inflicted substantial casualties on the insurgents. Some security sources disputed this and said because the company is fighting the insurgents from the air, its attacks have often been imprecise and many civilians have been killed.