Truck hijacked outside OR Tambo ahead of Mbalula's visit

2017-07-10 19:51
Police Minister Fikile Mbalula and Ekurhuleni Mayor Mzwandile Masina. (Nation Nyoka, News24)

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula and Ekurhuleni Mayor Mzwandile Masina. (Nation Nyoka, News24)

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Johannesburg - A truck carrying precious cargo was hijacked ahead of Police Minister Fikile Mbalula’s visit to OR Tambo International Airport on Monday morning.

The truck was hijacked outside a gate at the airport called "Super South" after having left an area where goods such as currency are kept, the airport's general manager Bongiwe Pityi told reporters during Mbalula's visit.

Airport officials, police, and Ekurhuleni metro police found the truck abandoned, and the hijackers had fled.

Although it was not immediately clear what was in the truck, Pityi said they were certain it was carrying high-value goods.

Mbalula's visit was in response to a spate of crimes at and around the airport in recent months. He was accompanied by State Security Minister David Mahlobo, Ekurhuleni Mayor Mzwandile Masina, his community safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane, and SA Revenue Service commissioner Tom Moyane.

Mbalula and Mahlobo said that since the airport was a national key point, people needed to feel secure and safe when they were there.

Mbalula blamed much of the crime taking place at the airport on a lack of leadership and planning, and corrupt police officers.

The lack of vetting of staff had contributed to corruption. Mbalula accused those who had been working there for more than 10 years of being susceptible to colluding with criminals and taking bribes. He planned to "reshuffle" staff. People whose services were no longer needed would be asked to "step aside", he said.

Several hijackings, thefts, and murders linked to a syndicate had taken place in and around the airport in recent months.

In March, a group of men dressed as police officers entered a supposedly secure part of the airport and drove off with R20.7m in bank notes.


Recently, Carte Blanche aired a report about syndicates that rob travellers once they had left the airport, usually when they arrived at home or at hotels.

On Monday, May 15, a driver of a Hyundai H1 carrying six businesspeople was shot dead outside the airport. As he took the off-ramp from the highway to get to the airport, two other cars forced him to stop. The killers drove off in the H1 with the passengers. They were robbed and left in nearby Rhodesfield.

Also read: Armed robber killed in shootout at OR Tambo Airport



Read more on:    or tambo airport  |  fikile mbalula  |  crime

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