Alarming security breaches at SA airports

2012-11-14 16:40

Cape Town - Pistols, knives and weapon magazine clips were among items passing through South African airports over the past four years, Transport Minister Ben Martins revealed on Wednesday.

Replying in writing to a parliamentary question, Martins categorised security breaches under the administration of the Airports Company of SA as unlawful access to restricted areas, bomb threats and screening failures.

In the last financial year, six cases of people entering restricted areas at airports were recorded, five at OR Tambo International and one at Cape Town International.

Five culprits were caught, while one died as a result of stowing away on a flight.

During the same period, four bomb threats were made, one each at OR Tambo International and King Shaka International, with two recorded at Cape Town airport.

Sweeps were done and no explosive devices were found.

Three cases of screening failures were reported, two at OR Tambo International and one in Cape Town.

This included a loaded magazine for a firearm found in baggage from a passenger from a neighbouring country, as well as a staff member entering the airport with a small knife.

Perhaps more startling was a case reported by Nigerian officials.

"Nigeria reported that a passenger arrived with two air pistols, 10 bulletproof vests, and five knives," said Martins.

Other items found in the passenger's suitcases included uniforms, military combat caps, fez caps, walkie-talkies, tasers, knee pads, teargas, chargers, batons and traffic bars.

"All equipment was in hold baggage and therefore not detected during screening, as no explosives were involved," said Martins.

Flights to Nigeria from South Africa depart from OR Tambo International Airport.

  • Bra Tebzaah Sibilanga - 2012-11-14 16:45

    You forgot diamonds.

      luytster - 2012-11-14 16:49

      And Rhino horn in Diplomatic bags.

      larry.piggott1 - 2012-11-14 16:50

      and Drugs

      michael.horton.566790 - 2012-11-14 16:55

      That's BEE for you... Well done SA!

      godfrey.welman - 2012-11-14 17:11

      Yep, the Africa way!!

      daleinn - 2012-11-14 21:17

      Ag nee..n we pay exorbitant airport taxes for ??? wat u doin bout it Mr Martins..

  • frederick.nel - 2012-11-14 16:47

    I am not supprised at all.. these things must of got through because it was tea time.

      kala.bafazi - 2012-11-14 16:51

      Leave a bucket of KFC in an open area and you're home free.

      frederick.nel - 2012-11-14 16:54

      lmfao.. good one man

      JanGrimbeek - 2012-11-14 17:54

      Do they really have whole day teatime, thought so myself :-)

  • michael.smit.73997 - 2012-11-14 16:49

    our police dont even know where south africa's borders are. the anc's liberation movement is to liberate them from logic and smooth running of EVERYTHING

  • hugh.robinson.56 - 2012-11-14 17:25

    Please NOTE: This is baggage. NOT hand held. Half you nitwits would loose you suitcase contents if you were checked after every flight. This story is a mountain out of a molehill. Our customs bars that which is internationally banned not what you are not allowed to own / carry in your suitcase on the other end.

      JanGrimbeek - 2012-11-14 17:57

      And the other halfs would be stolen as is normal at SA airports, thats how they know about the contents of the baggage, they found it when they opened their loot.

  • graham.goodman.77 - 2012-11-14 17:34

    And for that ACSA charges some of the highest airport taxes anywhere!

  • Gorden Park - 2012-11-14 17:41

    South African police and Customs do not do screening on outgoing flights, its left to security guards and all they are after is you foreign currency. (ITS THE AFRICAN WAY)

  • emilyjane.elson - 2012-11-14 17:41


  • winifred.watson.9 - 2012-11-14 17:50

    Why are we not surprised, when our minister for interpol does'nt know about his ex smuggling drugs right under his nose, this is no surprise. Show me anything in this country that runs or works honestly and successfully. Its all BEE and AA people who dont care a damn.

  • JanGrimbeek - 2012-11-14 17:52

    But I am not allowed a bottle of 250ml Illovo syrup (bread spread) in my hand luggage.

  • piet.snot.77964 - 2012-11-14 17:53

    And once I was not allowed to take a small PART of a firearm in the hold the rest I had sent by courier and they would not allow it through! Knee pads !! Wow how dangerous - I have often travelled with my biker kneepads.

  • nelbj - 2012-11-14 17:54

    A lot of the stuff they list have got nothing to do with security on the airplane, so I cannot see what the problem is that it slipped through. Some of them are not even listed as illegal in IN HOLD baggage and the report specifically states:""All equipment was in hold baggage and therefore not detected during screening" What is wrong with airpistols an knives in in hold baggage? They are not illegal in South Africa and you do not even need a permit for them and in the hold they cannot harm anybody! What is wrong with uniforms, military combat caps, fez caps, walkie-talkies, knee pads, chargers, batons and traffic bars in hold baggage? For Pete's sake, why would anyone bother if you even wear a fez cap or knee pads while you are boarding a plane? This is a crazy article!

      seanrossouwslr - 2012-11-14 18:44

      I'd like to ask, what exactly is a weapon magazine clip? Is that a paperclip you use to hold your monthly Magnum magazines together?

      Mandy Casey - 2012-11-14 19:36

      Nelbj is correct a clip without bullets means nothing. No firearm or bullets!

  • jkarpathakis1 - 2012-11-14 21:06

    Tell me something I didn't know. 4 Years ago security at Athens airport found a pocket knife that had slipped into a remote corner of my handbag (I forgot I even had it - it was in the bag for years) AFTER I flew from OR Tambo via Dubai to Athens. That's 2 international airports that didn't pick it up!

  • mshiniboys - 2012-11-15 08:50

    Same thing as in state prisons.bombs,drugs,dagga,knives,muthi.

  • Vlad Wasinsky - 2013-05-07 10:02

    It's easy to sidestep the security - just land at an airbase.

  • Rob Martin - 2013-10-10 18:17

    Proudly brought to you by who know poo.

  • pages:
  • 1