CAPE TOWN South Africa (Xinhua) --
South Africa’s opposition party on Wednesday
called for an independent investigation into suspected
involvement of corrupt cops in an airport heist of a large
amount of cash.
This came after an
astounding 24 million rand (about 1.9 million U.S. dollars) in
cash was reportedly stolen from a South African Airways plane at
the OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.
A group of armed
suspects posing as police in a marked police vehicle allegedly
intercepted security guards as they were transporting money to a
waiting aircraft. No shots were fired and no injuries have been
“The use of a police
vehicle in this incident is extremely concerning and could point
to the involvement of corrupt cops,” the Democratic Alliance
(DA) said in a statement.
The DA said it will
write to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID)
to request that it conducts a thorough investigation into
whether or not South African Police Services (SAPS) members or
assets were involved in the heist.
The DA will also
submit parliamentary questions to find out how many SAPS
vehicles and firearms have been found to have been used for
criminal activity, as well as how many SAPS members have been
found guilty of criminal offences, DA Shadow Minister of Police
Zakhele Mbhele said in Cape Town.
Furthermore, the DA
will also be submitting questions to the Ministers of Police and
Transport to determine the state of security at the country’s
airports, said Mbhele.
“The SAPS should be
protecting the lives and property of South Africa’s people and
we should not be seeing the use of official resources by corrupt
cops to enrich themselves,” Mbhele said.
Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) said it is working closely
with law enforcement agencies to arrest those behind the armed
Police Service and Airports Company South Africa is working
closely with other law enforcement agencies to apprehend the
suspects. The investigation is at an early stage,” the ACSA
The SAPS said
involvement of corrupt cops could not be ruled out.
The boldness of the
criminals as well as their ability to gain access to a secure
area highlights the severity of crime in South Africa.
It is not the first
time that large amount of cash was stolen at Johannesburg’s
In 2006, an
estimated 7.67 million dollars were stolen from an international
aircraft at the same airport.
South African police chief
assures public of airport safety after heist
CAPE TOWN South Africa (Xinhua) --
Acting National Police Commissioner Khomotso
Phahlane said on Thursday that all measures will be taken to
ensure the safety of South African airports.
The South African Police Service (SAPS) has already embarked
on a process to identify security shortcomings and to implement
measures to enhance airport safety, Phahlane said at a press
briefing in Pretoria.
He was speaking after an astounding amount of 24 million rand
(about 1.9 million US dollars) in cash was stolen from a South
African Airways plane at the OR Tambo International Airport in
Johannesburg on Tuesday night.
A group of armed suspects posing as police officers in a
marked police vehicle intercepted security guards as they were
transporting money to a waiting aircraft. No shots were fired
and no injuries have been reported.
The SAPS views the armed robbery and the attendant security
breaches "in a serious light," Phahlane said.
Although this incident is regrettable and unfortunate, the
SAPS and all role players are compelled to continuously review
the security measures aimed at curbing the recurrence of
incidents of this nature, said Phahlane.
"We can assure our communities and visitors to our country
that we are doing everything possible to ensure that the robbery
and all circumstances surrounding the incident form the subject
of an intensive, multi-disciplinary investigation," he said.
Phahlane said initial speculation pointed to a police vehicle
having been used to commit the crime.
However, he said a vehicle which was believed to be used in
the heist and was found abandoned in Mamelodi near Pretoria
proved to be one with fake police markings.
"When the perpetrators are arrested, we would not be
surprised to learn that some of them were bogus police officers.
"However, we will investigate and arrest objectively and
should we find evidence of any type of police or other collusion
we will take decisive action," he said.
If bona fide police uniforms or equipment were used by the
suspects, the source of those uniforms/equipment will also form
part of the investigations, said Phahlane.
The process of the investigation is underway which includes
interviewing all role players and personnel charged with duties
in and around the airport, according to the police chief.
The OR Tambo International Airport is notorious for armed
Reports suggest that up to 10 heists, with the same modus
operandi, have occurred at the same airport last year.
Many of these heists have been carried out by individuals
dressed in police uniforms..
South African apartheid
victims demand reparations
Africa (Xinhua) -- South African victims of apartheid met the
Department of Justice in Pretoria on Wednesday to demand
compensation for the injuries suffered during the white minority
representatives of apartheid victims and the Truth and
Reconciliation Commission (TRC) officials met the government
officials to raise their concerns.
TRC is a court-like
body which was formed after apartheid to hear the stories of war
time abuse and give amnesty and prosecute others. It is also to
heal the wounds of apartheid and allow transition into an
independent South Africa.
TRC beneficiary group leader told Xinhua that they had submitted
their petition to government, asking it to fulfill its promises.
Dlamini said, “We
met the government officials today to raise our concerns over
non-fulfillment about their promises. Through the TRC they
promised compensation, assistance with education and bursary,
housing, medical aid, and community rehabilitation and that has
not been done.”
There are about
16,800 apartheid victims who were supposed to get a once-off
reparation grant of 2,300 U.S. dollars from the Presidential
Victims Reparations Fund starting in 2005. The money was
supposed to bring social and economic transformation in the
lives of the survivors.
Dlamini said the TRC
recommendations have not been fully implemented. The petition
also includes the payment to 120,000 liberation struggle
“We gave the
government five days to respond to our petition and if they fail
we will call for nationwide demonstrations where our members
will come from all over the country and protest in Pretoria,” he
Dlamini said there
has been no inclusive settlement of the TRC recommendations for
reparations and rehabilitations for all victims and survivors.
He said there is a
danger that transgenerational transmission of trauma if the
rehabilitation is not done. Some South Africans lost their arms
and limbs during the liberation struggle while some were left
crippled. Some lost their lives.
Xinhua failed to get
a comment from the Department of Justice and Constitutional
Development. Dlamini said the government promised to study their
concerns and respond.