The Monitor :: 'My son was brilliant, bold, and brave'
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Last Updated
Monday 18 June 2018, 16:04 pm.
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'My son was brilliant, bold, and brave'

While others may believe that the late Major Cliff Manyuni could have lost control of the BF-5 fighter jet he was operating a day before the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) Day late last month, his father, Bonno Manyuni holds a different version.
By Shingirai Madondo Mon 07 May 2018, 13:41 pm (GMT +2)
The Monitor :: 'My son was brilliant, bold, and brave'








The 35-year-old BDF pilot untimely lost his life when the BF-5 aircraft tragically crash-landed at the Botswana Golf Club’s 11th hole mid-morning of Friday, April 27, 2018 while rehearsing for the BDF Day celebrations that were held at the National Stadium a day later.

In his moving and heart-wrenching tribute to his late son on Saturday at the remote village of Rakops in the Boteti sub-district, Manyuni described the University of Botswana (UB) graduate in Diploma in Pastoral Theology, as a “brilliant, bold and brave someone”.

“I had the opportunity to visit the scene of crime and my suspicion was that the aircraft that my boy was operating had a technical fault,” said an emotional father, bravely fighting back tears.

Continuing with his tear-jerking homage to his late son, Manyuni said: “My boy was brave, brilliant and bold. And it is my fervent conviction that the aircraft he was flying was the one that let him down”.  

According to Manyuni, the Letlhakane Senior Secondary School alumna was very brilliant in technical paraphernalia. Manyuni said human error is not something that can be associated  with his late son.

“He has been teaching me technical stuff. And he has been doing everything within his power to ensure that I am technologically savvy.

He knew technology like the back of his palm,” said the distraught father.

Manyuni told hundreds of mourners who gathered as early as 5am that the man who joined the BDF in 2003, as an Officer Cadet bought him a Blackberry phone in order to introduce his father to the new technology.

“In the advent of the android, he bought me a phone with a touchscreen. When I tried to resist technology, he would do more. At times, he would bring his laptop and show me how an aircraft

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would be controlled from the control room. He was just brilliant,” he said.

Also speaking at the funeral, Boteti West Member of Parliament (MP), Vice President Slumber Tsogwane said the country has been robbed of a gallant fighter. "In line with the oath he took that he would defend the nation with his life, Tsogwane said adding that  the late soldier could have saved his life by ejecting through a parachute.

“That could have resulted in the aircraft wreckage dropping on buildings in the city centre and destroying them at the same time killing a number of people. He chose to die alone, hence controlled the aircraft to the golf club where there were no people,” the VP said. Tsogwane said the deceased was being counted to be amongst those who were to fly the much-talked about and controversial war aircraft, Gripens. “We have been arguing at Parliament that there is need for Gripens. The government is buying them for the likes of Major Manyuni to fly them. Now, we are faced with challenges in human resources,” he said.  

For his part, BDF commander, Lieutenant General Placid Segokgo said every Motswana expects him to give the detailed explanation of what transpired on the late military man lost his life. “But it is not easy for me to give an explanation at this point in time,” said the army chief.

Segokgo added: “An investigation has been assembled to get to the bottom of the incident that robbed not only the Manyuni family of a promising youngster but also the BDF and the entire nation of Botswana”.

The late Manyuni, who only got promoted to the rank of Major in August 2017, is survived by his father, mother, fiancé, daughter, two brothers and one sister.

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