SANDF: Mandela crew not in crash

2012-11-08 12:49
Nelson Mandela (File, Sapa)

Nelson Mandela (File, Sapa)

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Johannesburg - The SA National Defence Force has denied a report that the aircraft that crashed at the Mthatha airport, in the Eastern Cape, was transporting former president Nelson Mandela's medical personnel.

"This activity had no connection to the medical support that is normally rendered to the former president.... The plane was not transporting medicine or his [Mandela's] doctors," Brigadier General Xolani Mabanga said on Thursday.

He said it was not yet clear how many people were on the plane when it crash-landed at the airport on Wednesday morning.

On Thursday, the DispatchOnline reported that 16 people, including pilots and doctors, were taken to hospital for medical check-ups after the SANDF military aircraft crash-landed.

Eastern Cape police said it was not clear what caused the crash, and that the aircraft had sustained some damage.

"The engine was damaged, as well as the right wing and propeller," said Lieutenant Colonel Mzukisi Fatyela.

He said an investigation would be conducted to determine the cause of the incident.

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