Air search for missing DA official called off

2015-10-09 12:13
Petro Nel, left, with another DA member in a photo taken earlier this year. (Photo from Facebook)

Petro Nel, left, with another DA member in a photo taken earlier this year. (Photo from Facebook)

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Johannesburg - Nepalese authorities have grounded a plane that was searching for the ultra-light aircraft carrying Democratic Alliance (DA) North West deputy leader Petro Nel.

"The air search has been called off. It was called off an hour ago, but there is currently a ground search under way," provincial DA leader Joe McGluwa said. 

He said they had not received additional news.

"My personal observation is since there is no radio contact [with Nel's plane], there is a suspicion they may be able to find the aircraft better by doing a ground search."

"We are praying we will get news as soon as possible," he said.  

Nel was in Nepal on holiday. She and a Russian pilot had taken to the air from the town of Pokhara on Thursday for a sight-seeing adventure. 

No one has heard from either of them since. 

Nel had served as a DA Ward Councillor in the Matlosana Municipality in Klerksdorp and earlier this year received the special Paul Harris Rotary Award for her dedication to community work and upliftment, McGluwa said.

She was elected DA North West deputy leader in 2015.

The DA said it held Nel's family in its thoughts. Her husband JC, two sons, family and friends had the party's full support and hoped for her safe return.

A call to Nel's phone was met by a voice message from her stating she was away and would be back on October 25.
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