Samora Moïses Machel

Mozambiquean politician. Born 1933, died 1986.

Machel was the leader of Mozambique's independence movement, Frelimo, and when the country gained independence from Portugal in 1975, he became its first president.

During his time in office, diplomatic relations with South Africa were tense, chiefly due to Machel's outspoken support of the ANC. In retaliation for this, South Africa supported the rebel movement Renamo in Mozambique.

Machel declared Mozambique a Marxist republic and allied himself with the Soviet Union, but grew more moderate over time.