Twelve SA pilots held in Namibia

2013-05-06 09:25

Twelve South African pilots on a trip to raise awareness for cancer were arrested in Namibia at the weekend.

The Cape Times reported that the group was arrested at Ondangwa Airport on Saturday, apparently because flight documents were not in order.

The pilots were released early yesterday morning after a court found their arrest to be unlawful.

However, police refused to allow them to leave the country in their light aircraft, which had been “quarantined” until their flight papers were rectified.

According to the newspaper, the group left South Africa on April 27 on a 16-day flight trip across Botswana and Namibia.

The trip was partly a holiday and partly to raise awareness and fund for the Cancer Association of SA, which endorsed the trip.

“It’s a complete mess. We still have no permission to fly and may not fly until there is some sort of communication between the police and the Civil Aviation Authority,” trip organiser Larry McGillewie told The Cape Times.

The pilots’ lawyer, Farieda Kishi, said there had been a “procedural error” when the pilots were issued with a certificate of competency, but not a permit for landing.

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