New charges against SA pilots in Namibia

2013-05-07 09:36

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Cape Town - Namibian police have brought fresh charges against 12 South African pilots, it was reported on Tuesday.

The pilots were charged on Monday with violating Namibian airspace and illegal entry into the country, The Cape Times reported.

They were arrested at Ondangwa Airport on Saturday, apparently because their flight documents were not in order. They were released early on Sunday morning.

Loopholes

Police spokesperson deputy commissioner Edwin Kanguatjivi told the newspaper the first case was declared null and void because of loopholes in an affidavit by the Civil Aviation Authority.

"So now there are new charges. The men are not in custody. The case will be heard maybe tonight or early tomorrow [Wednesday] and we hope the whole issue will be resolved," he said.

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

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

The pilots got their papers before the trip from the Namibian Microlight Association, as many of the aircraft were light enough to be classed as microlights.

They believed they had the necessary documentation, but the documents reportedly did not include permits to overfly the country or to land.

Kanguatjivi told the newspaper that the penalties the pilots possibly faced rested with the courts.

"I am not expecting the worst. There are no hostilities between our countries".

Read more on:    namibia  |  southern africa  |  air travel

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